Why Implied Consent Laws Already Apply to You
If you drive in Washington State, you are presumed to have already consented to a breath test upon a lawful arrest. This is known as Washington’s Implied Consent Law. In essence, this law states that you impliedly agree to take a breath test when under arrest for DUI, and that if you refuse, you will lose your license.
Whether you refuse the test or you take the test and blow at or over the legal limit, there will be the consequences. In either scenario, the Department of Licensing (DOL) will seek to revoke or suspend your license on the 60th day following your arrest, prior to and distinct from any court case brought against you.
To Blow or Not to Blow, that is the Question
In general, the consequences of refusing a test are more severe than if you take the test and do not pass it. One serious consequence for refusing to take a breath (or blood) test is a two-year license revocation for a first refusal, a three year license revocation for a refusal if you have a prior offense within seven years, and a four year revocation for a refusal following two or more prior offenses in a seven year periods. Another consequence is a higher mandatory minimum jail sentence.
The process of a DUI charge can be confusing and so is the Implied Consent Law. What you may not know is that the law requires you to be advised of your option to either take the breath/blood test or not. The police officer should read you these implied consent rights, or allow you to read them yourself. Moreover, the law requires that you understand the warnings, thus if you communicate your confusion, the officer must do something, such as put you in contact with an attorney, to alleviate the confusion. If you were not given the implied consent warnings prior to the test or refusal, in most circumstances, your breath test result, or evidence that you refused the test could be suppressed and not allowed as evidence in your trial or hearing.
Unfortunately, the law regarding taking or refusing the breath test is one of the most complicated areas of DUI law. That’s why getting legal advice from Callahan Law is a step in the right direction. Call now, we are here for you 24/7.