Many drivers may wonder whether they can refuse a Breathalyzer test if they are stopped by the authorities for a suspected DUI. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question and a lawyer will generally tell you that: "it depends."
Washington Implied Consent Law
Like most states, Washington has implied consent laws. This means that if you drive on state roads, you are deemed to have given consent to undergo a blood alcohol test as a condition for driving. In most cases, the officer will still ask whether you will take the test. If you refuse, you could face penalties such as a license suspension regardless of whether you were drunk. In other words, you will face penalties simply for refusing the test. In addition, you should know that prosecutors can introduce as evidence your refusal to take the test to help support their case in a drunk driving case.
Right of Refusal
As mentioned above, you may have the right to refuse a blood alcohol test, provided that you realize that you will be penalized for the refusal. However, you should know that the right of refusal is only a general rule and that there are some cases where authorities may order a blood alcohol test without first asking your permission. So your consent may not be necessary in cases such as a suspected DUI-related accident that seriously injures or kills someone.
Contact a King County DUI Attorney
If you have a question about Washington implied consent laws and your penalties for failing to take a Breathalyzer test, you should contact an experienced King County DUI attorney at Cowan Kirk Gaston Wolff. Schedule a consultation to discuss the specifics of your case with an attorney by calling (425) 822-1220.