If you are stopped on the road, and suspected of alcohol DUI in Washington, you will be required to take a breath test. The state follows the ‘implied consent’ principle which rules that if an officer stops you with probable cause to believe that you’ve been driving under the influence, then you must comply to take a breath test to gauge your blood alcohol content (BAC).
An exception to this compliance would be when you feel that the evidentiary breath or blood test would damage your heath due to a pre-existing medical condition, or due to an injury at the accident scene.
Before an arrest, the officer will inform you that you have the right to refuse the test. Take note that your license can be revoked for a year if you refuse, and that refusal can be used as evidence against you in court. However, if you take the test and your BAC reading is above the 0.08 limit, and question the result, you are entitled to subject yourself to additional testing by your chosen medical professional. Nonetheless, the penalty once your BAC proves valid, will vary depending on the damage, if any—such as in cases where death or destruction to property are involved.
In most trials, prosecutors tend to argue the point that the defendant refused a breath test because of guilt. In reality, there are a variety of justifiable reasons why someone under the circumstances would feel the need to decline. He may believe that the blood test is an option, or that he may not have confidence in the reliability of the machine or the officer himself. He might have also believed that the test would trigger asthma or a panic attack, or that he thought a defect in the machine actually prevented him from blowing sufficient air into the breathalyzer.
Nevertheless, if a person does take the breath test, there are still ways to assail the evidentiary value of the test. A DUI lawyer from Federal Way, as elsewhere, can tell you that there are, indeed, multiple factors that can render breath tests results questionable. These include diet, illness, atmospheric pressure, the type of machine used, mouth appliances, or certain activities the person might have been engaged in before taking the test.
Also, there’s the matter of the method in which the test was conducted. A good defense lawyer can find expert witnesses to debunk the accuracy of the breath test result, based on the abovementioned factors.
An experienced DUI attorney can help challenge the officer’s testimony, and then follow through so that the penalties against you get reduced. If you face DUI charges, Federal Way lawyers like ‘Super Lawyer’ Kim E. Hunter can help.
Source: Washington DUI: Refusal to Take a Blood or Breath Test, Driving Laws
Source: What to Do- How to Beat Breathalyzer Test Results and Breath Test, FightDUICharges.com