Most people arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Spokane County or within Washington State will be asked to submit to a test of their breath to determine their breath alcohol content (BAC). Specifically, law enforcement will ask for a breath test at the police station and the driver will have to choose whether to blow on the government's machine or refuse the breath test.
In Washington State the breath test at the station will be conducted on either the BAC Datamaster or Draeger machine. These machines are different than the roadside Portable or Preliminary or Portable Breath Test. The BAC Datamaster and Draeger are evidential breath testing machines and the test results can lead to serious consequences both in the courtroom and through the Washington State Department of Licensing.
In a criminal defense setting giving a breath sample at the station seems counter-intuitive. Providing the government with more evidence may feel wrong. However, Washington State law imposes substantially higher DUI penalties on those who refuse the breath test at the station. Additionally, submitting to the breath test at the station allows more legal arguments to be available to you and your lawyer while fighting a DUI charge than refusing that test at the station. More arguments and options are always helpful!.
We often hear from clients who refused the breath test at the station that their friend or relative told them to never take the breath test. That may have been good advice many years ago. Today people under arrest for DUI do have the option to speak with a knowledgeable DUI attorney before choosing whether to blow or refuse at the station. Our office has a 24-hour emergency DUI attorney available for exactly this purpose. An experienced DUI attorney can give you the best advice for your specific situation if you are trying to choose whether to blow or refuse the breath test.