Compulsory testing after hospital admission
The police do not have the power to require a person to have a blood test. However a doctor must take a blood test from anyone aged 10 years or more and who is admitted to hospital after a road accident unless there is a good medical reason why the blood sample should not be taken [Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) s 47I]. The provision only applies to a hospital declared under Schedule 2 of the Road Traffic (Miscellaneous) Regulations 2014 (SA).
Refusing a blood test
The blood test must be done as soon as possible after the person is admitted to hospital and within eight hours of the motor vehicle accident. It is an offence to refuse the blood test to be taken without a good medical reason [Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) s 47I]. As of 1st December 2005 this offence will attract an immediate licence disqualification.
Procedure for blood tests
The blood sample is divided into two equal portions, one of which is given to the police to be analysed and the person is given a notice advising that the other sample may be collected and separately analysed as a check against the police analysis. If the person is not given the opportunity of an independent analysis, the police analysis cannot be given in evidence. The blood sample is to be kept for collection for a period of 12 months from the date the sample was taken. If independent analysis of the sample is required it is recommended that this be arranged as soon as practicable using one of the independent pathology groups listed under Pathology Laboratories in the Yellow Pages.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.