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Refusing a Sobriety Test in Washington

Posted by Russell West | Sep 12, 2016 | 0 Comments

When you are in the moment, things can happen pretty fast. You could be celebrating a birthday, attending a holiday event or just leaving dinner. Not realizing that you may have consumed too much alcohol may not happen until you are on the road, and then it is too late. Seeing those red and blue lights behind you can be a humbling and humiliating experience after you have been drinking, and when asked if you can take a sobriety test, the question becomes, “Can you refuse to take a sobriety test?” If you or a loved one was charged with a DUI or driving under the influence, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Spokane DUI attorney to help you with your case.

What are the Consequences of DUI?

When you are pulled over for an alleged DUI, one of the first thoughts that may enter your mind is refusal. However, what happens in Washington when you refuse a DUI? Washington's DUI laws is governed by Washington's Revised Code Section 46-20-308. Washington's law requires you to take a blood or breath test if you are arrested for a DUI or driving under the influence when probable cause exists. This influence can be alcohol, drugs, or medication. Though the officer must tell you that you have the right to refuse a sobriety test, it is in your best interest not to. Upon refusal you will lose your license for one year and the fact that you refused can be used against you in court by stating that the only reason you refused the test is because you were intoxicated and guilty of the DUI. If you refuse, the officer must inform you that your license will be suspended and provide information on challenging the suspension within 20 days of your arrest. It is important to note, that generally, unless there has been an accident where someone was killed or seriously injured, an officer cannot make you take a sobriety test. However, it is always best to seek legal advice when you are put in this situation.

Need Legal Advice?

Though it is in your right to refuse a sobriety test, it is probably not in your best interest to do so. There are many consequences that result from your refusal and they can hugely affect your personal and work life. Therefore, it is in your best interest, if you have refused a sobriety test or have been charged with a DUI, to seek experienced legal advice and representation. Contact an experienced auto accident attorney to help you with your case. Contact the West Law Office online or call 509-993-0748 today.  

(image courtesy of J. Pelkonen)

About the Author

Russell West

Russell West from West Law Office, located in Spokane, Washington represents clients in areas of criminal traffic, misdemeanors, and personal injury. DUI’s, Reckless Driving, Negligent driving, Hit and Run, and Driving with Suspended license are the majority of criminal traffic violations. Drug Charges, Theft, and Domestic Violence account for most of the other criminal cases Russell handles.


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West Law Office - Russell West Attorney

Spokane Attorney Russell West practice areas include: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Motorcycle Accidents, Slip and Falls, DUIs, DOL Hearings, Criminal Traffic, Expungement/Vacating Records, and Insurance Bad Faith

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