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Judge John E. Turner (Ret.)

When breath tests are required in Washington

If you are stopped in Washington state for a suspected drunk driving offense, you might not be certain about whether or not you should agree to a breath or blood test. There are several factors that you should consider in order to accurately answer this question.

The portable breath tests that officers use on the roadside are generally not admissible in court, but the results of them may be used by the police to establish probable cause for your arrest. You are not required to agree to take the portable breath test. When you are stopped, you are required to provide your license, insurance and registration, and to step out of your car if the officer asks you to do so. The roadside tests, including the PBT, are not required, however.

If you are taken to the police station and asked to take a breath test, a refusal may result in your losing your driving privileges for a year. It may be possible for you to be able to continue driving with an interlock ignition device installed in your vehicle. If you refuse to take both a breath and a blood test, a judge may issue a warrant ordering you to submit to one or both.

Our attorney John E. Turner is a retired judge who has more than 30 years of legal experience. He works hard for his clients to help them to receive the most favorable outcomes he can for them. Judge Turner understands how breathalyzer results may be challenged in court. He represents some clients to help them avoid losing their driving privileges. In some cases, Judge Turner is able to win dismissal of the charges against his clients. If you are facing charges for drunk driving and would like to learn more, you may want to review the information on our breath test refusal page.

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