Experienced Breathalyzer and DUI Seattle Law Firm

Talk with a defense lawyer about Breathalyzer evidence, the facts surrounding your arrest and possible defenses against breath test or BAC results in your DUI case. Contact an experienced DUI | DWI criminal law defense attorney right away.

For over 20 years Jensen Legal has challenged and defended DUI/DWI cases. Over the years, breath tests in Washington State have been suppressed by courts just about as much as they have been used by the courts. That’s because the defense is persistent and thorough.

Breathalyzer Suppression

At Jensen Legal we look at your case, your breath test and all the supporting documents to find any reason at all to suppress a breath test result. The validity of the whole process deserves it and so do you.

Why would it be suppressed? Here are some examples:

  • Simulator solution not current.
  • Breathalyzer machine not compliant with certification according to the Washington Administrative Code.
  • Breath machine error signals.
  • Officer did not follow procedures such as mouth check waiting time and did not actually observe subject during entire 15 minute wait time.
  • No probable cause to arrest or otherwise detain.

These are just a few reasons.

If I am asked to blow a Breathalyzer, do I have to comply?

No, but you should. There are two kinds of breath test machines.

The police may offer you a Portable Breath Test (PBT) while they are first talking to you at the roadside. If you take this test it can be used for the police to establish Probable Cause to arrest you, but it is not admissible in a trial to prove that you are intoxicated.

After you are at the police station or at a mobile command post, the police will generally ask you to take a Breathalyzer test. This is the BAC test and it is controlled by a computer. If you refuse this test your driver’s license may be suspended for a year or more, depending on your past licensing history.

Experienced DUI attorneys will advise their clients to take the BAC test at the Station, but refuse everything else and Remain Silent.

Should You refuse the Breath Test?

Most lawyers will tell you to take the test now and try to suppress it later. The Implied Consent laws of Washington say that if a police officer has probable cause that you drove a motor vehicle while affected by alcohol or drugs within the last 2 hours, you must take a breath test. If you don´t, then your license will be suspended for a minimum of 1 year, and, the fact that you refused can be used as evidence by the prosecution during a trial. This is somewhat of an infringement against your right to remain silent, but it is the law. Now, read on.

What Happens If My Lawyer Tells Me To Refuse The Test?

Question: If I refuse the Breath Test after my lawyer advises me to refuse the breath test, can the refusal be used against me at trial?

Answer: Maybe.

Some judges in Washington will accept the argument that you refused the breath test because your attorney told you to remain silent, not because you were refusing a breath test. Your license may still get suspended for a year, but in this circumstance you may prevent a prosecutor from telling a jury during your trial that you “refused the breath test “. This scenario can make your case more winnable at trial.

Protecting Clients Against False Breathalyzer Results

Breathalyzer (BAC) tests in Washington State can be suppressed if they do not meet the court standards of admissibility. Over the last 20 years these tests have been thrown out just about as much as they’ve been used by the courts. Your attorney should know which courts are suppressing, why they are suppressing and how to get your case in a position to get a suppression of the BAC test.

Challenging the Results of Breathalyzer Machines

The Washington State Patrol has the authority to manage Breath Testing machines. They are required to make public the maintenance of these machines and they do so at their website: Washington State Patrol Breath Test Instrument Records.

The information on the Washington State Patrol website is confusing and only a small bit pertains to your testing machine and the maintenance and past history of that machine.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

If you are taken to the Station and blow over the legal limit, you still have the right to go to a hospital and have your own blood drawn and analyzed for alcohol content.

We Help Reduce the Charges When Possible

What other charges are possible?

  • Reckless Driving: RCW 46.61.500 – Not an “alcohol” violation, but it does suspend your license for no less than 30 days.
  • Negligent Driving in the First Degree: RCW 46.61.5249 This is an alcohol violation, but it does not suspend your driver’s license and is considered a “prior conviction” if you get a subsequent DUI charge.
  • Negligent Driving Second Degree: RCW 46.61.525 This is an infraction; it does not carry either jail and does not suspend your license unless you have a really bad driving record.
  • Reckless Endangerment: RCW 9A.36.050 This is technically not a driving offense because it does not have “driving” as an element of the crime. Reckless Endangerment does not normally suspend your license.