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If I’m pulled over for DUI, do I have to to take the breath tests?

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zz drunkQ: If I’m pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving., what options do I have when asked to take a breathalyzer test? Furthermore, what are the consequences and/or penalties for those options? — Jessica in Tacoma

A: “Hi Jessica. To answer your question, if you are placed under arrest for DUI, what’s going to happen is you’re going to be taken to a BAC facility, which is usually at a police station or a jail, where we have our breath test instrument. At that particular point, the officer will read you your constitutional rights, if they haven’t done so already out in the field. And, then they’ll read to you what’s called an ‘implied consent warning,’ which is RCW 462308. In that particular warning, the warning’s going to cover what happens in regards to if you provide a breath test sample, or if you refuse to provide a breath test sample. Basically what happens is, if you refuse to provide a breath test sample, your drivers license, permit, or privilege to drive, can be revoked or denied for 1 year. And, if you provide a breath test sample and your BAC reading is over a .08, and you’re over 21 years old, your license can be revoked or denied for up to 90 days, or if you’re a minor and your BAC reading is over a .02.  All of those things will be read to you verbatim from the ‘implied consent warning.’, which can be found on the Washington State Patrol/DUI Arrest Report. At that point if you refuse to provide a breath test, the officer may also seek a ‘blood search’ warrant. So, hopefully that answers your questions. If you have any further questions, feel free to give us a call. — Washington State Patrol Sgt. Joann Buettner

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