(1) The legal BAC limit in Washington State for DUI is 0.02 for drivers under age of 21; 0.04 for drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle; and 0.08 for all non-commercial drivers over the age of 21. A BAC of .15 or greater creates enhanced penalties which will apply if the driver is actually convicted of a DUI. If a driver is convicted of a Washington DUI, and/or the driver loses his DOL civil administrative hearing, enhanced penalties also apply when the driver “refuses” to provide a sample of his breath and/or blood, upon lawful request.
(2) No driver is required to perform a field sobriety test. Alcohol field tests are strictly voluntary in nature and drivers can decline to take these tests whenever they want. Notwithstanding that fact, courts often permit the driver’s decision to refuse to perform the test into evidence; prosecutors often allege that such a decision is because the driver has a “consciousness of guilt”.
(3) The hand-held preliminary breath test (known as the “PBT”) is strictly voluntary and no loss of license will result from refusing to take a roadside, hand-held breath test. Whether the person refused to provide a breath sample into the PBT, or the person’s test results on the PBT are above the legal limit (as noted above) cannot be used in a court of law to prove a driver guilty of DUI in Washington State.
(4) After a driver is taken to the police station to take a chemical breath or blood test, he has the absolute right to speak to an attorney in person or on the telephone. Once placed in touch with a Seattle DUI attorney, the Seattle DUI lawyer can answer a driver’s questions and give legal advice as to whether he should take the breath test.
(5) If a driver alleged to be DUI asks for a Seattle DUI lawyer, an officer cannot question him. Questioning a DUI suspect before taking the breath test is routine for the police, but by answering law enforcement’s questions the alleged DUI driver may be hurting his case. A driver arrested for DUI in Washington State should immediately assert his right to remain silent, and should immediately request to speak with a Seattle DUI Attorney in private.
(6) Anyone arrested and cited for a DUI in Washington State will be required to appear in a criminal court of the jurisdiction in which the arrest took place. The government has a certain period of time in which to charge a person accused of committing DUI in Washington State. That time period (limit) is determined by the type of charge associated with the allegation (Gross Misdemeanor or Felony), and Washington’s applicable “Statute of Limitations”. It is highly advisable that a driver arrested for DUI in Washington State never go to court without having a qualified Seattle DUI attorney with him. Because of the significant implications a DUI conviction can have, it is imperative that a person stopped, cited arrested and/or charged with a DUI in Washington State retain a qualified Seattle criminal defense attorney in order to best minimize potential legal consequences and protect his rights and interests.
If you or a loved one is stopped, cited, arrested and/or charged with a DUI in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, Thurston County or one of the following cities or towns: Algona, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Bonney Lake, Bothell, Burien, Des Moines, Duvall, Edmonds, Enumclaw, Everett, Federal Way, fife, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Lake Stevens, Lakewood, Lynnwood, Maple Valley, Marysville, Medina, Mercer Island, Milton, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, New Castle, Normandy Park, North Bend, Olympia, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Sea Tac, Seattle, Shoreline, Snohomish, Sumner, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, and/or Woodinville, or any other city or town in Western Washington, call The Criminal Defense Team of SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900; (425) 998-8384 for an initial free consultation.