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Refusing the Breathalyzer

If you have ever been pulled over for drunk driving, then you may be familiar with field sobriety tests, breathalyzers, or both. Drivers who are stopped for suspected DUI will be asked to submit to these examinations. In the state of Washington, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer, you will face serious consequences.

Implied Consent

Like many other states across the nation, Washington has established what is known as an “implied consent” law. Under this legislation, anyone who has been pulled over and requested to take a breathalyzer must submit to the examination on the spot without first calling an attorney or anyone else for advice. Since driving is considered to be a privilege and not a right, all drivers are required to consent to either breathalyzer or field sobriety tests if asked.

All drivers in the state of Washington who refuse to take a breathalyzer test when asked will face penalties. Failing to submit to a breathalyzer, when requested, will have the following consequences:

  • One year minimum revocation of one's driver's license
  • Up to a two year revocation of one's license for the first refusal
  • Three year revocation of one's license for the second refusal within seven years
  • Four year revocation of one's license for the third or higher refusal within seven years
  • Use of the test as evidence in a criminal trial

Many times, the penalties for refusing to take a breathalyzer test are worse than taking the examination and not passing it.

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If you have been pulled over for drunk driving, then you will need a strong and capable DUI defense lawyer to protect your rights. Contact a Seattle DUI lawyer of Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn today at 1-866-822-1230 to speak with us about your case.

Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn

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Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn is known throughout Washington and the nation for representing all of its clients with commitment, creativity and compassion. We recognize how devastating a DUI charge can be, particularly when our clients learn how incredibly tough Washington's DUI laws have become, even for a first-time offender.

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If you need a DUI defense attorney in Seattle, Bellevue, or King County, contact us today to find out why respect for our clients, a passion for justice, and our commitment to winning have earned each of us the highest honor a member of the bar can receive from our colleagues – their referrals.