Washington State Breath Test
In Washington State, there are two breath test machines that can be used on a person suspected of driving under the influence.
One is the portable or preliminary breath test. The other is the evidentiary breath test.
Breath tests are voluntary, and the results from a portable breath test are generally not allowed in court. These devices are not always accurate, and many things, such as cough drops, mints, or chewing gum, may produce a false reading.
It is important to hire an attorney if you were asked to take a portable breath test and failed. An attorney who is experienced with drunk-driving laws will be able to challenge the arrest if the law enforcement agent did not properly follow procedures for administering a breath test. If there was an error with the test, or with the way it was administered, this knowledge could severely affect the prosecutor’s case in court.
While the portable tests are used to confirm probable cause, the evidentiary breath test is the formal and legal test. This test typically takes place at the police station, but the state patrol now has a roving mobile unit that has the breath testing machines and equipment in it.
To administer this test, the officer must confirm that there are no foreign substances in the driver’s mouth. The officer must also make sure that the driver does not throw up or put anything in his or her mouth 15 minutes before the test. If the test is not performed according to these guidelines, it is not valid and will not be allowed as evidence in court.
The officer must also read the driver’s Miranda Warning and the Implied Consent Warning before giving the test. While a driver may decline to take the test, the refusal will lead to his or her license being subject to an administrative license suspension for up to one year.
If the driver takes the test, the officer will ask him or her to blow into a mouthpiece that is connected to a tube. You will be asked to give two samples, with the mouthpiece being changed before each one. While only 5-7 seconds are required for a valid sample, the officer will sometimes let the driver keep blowing until he or she runs out of breath. This can affect the results.
If you took a breath test and failed, or refused to take one, you should submit your case online today
. A DUI attorney in Washington will contact you shortly to discuss your options.