Refusing a Breath Test? Should I or shouldn't I?
This is a very common question and the answer can have a significant impact on your ability to drive. If you have been arrested for a DUI, there is no obligation or repercussion for refusing to take a PBT (see my discussion here) but if you refuse the breath test at the station you are subject to at least one year of a license suspension but it could go up to two years if you are ultimately convicted in criminal court.
So should you or should you not take a breath test. The best advice is that if you take one you are normally better off, even if it winds up being over the legal limit because there are numerous challenges that can be made regarding not only the admissibility of the result but the accuracy and reliability of the machine. First, the impact on any possible suspension of your driver's license is lessened, you would only face a minimum 90 day suspension if you submitted to a test in an administrative hearing (it would be 1 year if your breath test was over .15 and you were convicted in criminal court). Second, a refusal is almost always looked at as an admission of guilt (certainly by prosecutors and now by courts). It can be argued you don't trust the machine or you were not properly advised but whenever you were provided a driver's license in Washington State it was "implied" you would not refuse.
If you did refuse a breath test at the station, all is not lost, the State or City still has to prove you were impaired before the jury even considers an enhanced penalty regarding the refusal. However, the State or City will argue the reason you refused, as I intimated above, is because you knew you would blow over. I find that to be ludicrous because how would you know, or they know, you wouldn't just as likely blow under?
Call us today for representation by some of the best Kirkland DUI Lawyers if you have been arrested (425) 522-4200