Washington State DUI Evidence

In the state of Washington there are two methods of testing to measure someone’s blood alcohol content (BAC), breath tests and blood tests. Urine analysis is not used as a method of determining blood alcohol content in DUI cases in Washington State. Breath tests are fare more common than blood tests but blood tests are considered more accurate.

Breath Testing

If you are arrested for a DUI, assuming there wasn’t an accident that resulted in serious bodily injury or death, then you will be asked to take a breath test. There are two types of machines that are used in the state of Washington, the DataMaster and the DataMaster CDM.
There are certain procedures that must be adhered to when administering a breath test. Your Miranda rights must be read to you and you must have the consequences of refusing a breath test explained to you, known an Implied Consent Warning. Before beginning the test your mouth cavity has to be inspected and the police must observe you for 15 minutes to make sure that you did not consume anything that could affect your test results.

Breath tests do not measure the amount of alcohol in your blood but the amount of alcohol in your mouth and then use that figure to estimate your BAC. Due to this breath tests have much more room for error.
There are two types of breath tests, preliminary and evidentiary. The preliminary breath tests (PBT) are taken at the scene to help an officer determine if they should be making a DUI arrest. The test itself is a handheld model with an LCD read but cannot be used as evidence in trial. You have a right to refuse to this type of test and doing so cannot be held against you in court and for this reason it is never recommended that you blow into a PBT. Evidentiary breath testing is done at the station and the results are admissible in court.

Blood Testing

Though less commonly used in DUI cases, blood tests are a more accurate measure of someone’s BAC than breath tests. In the state of Washington blood tests are only constitutional under certain circumstances including when a person is unable to take a breath test as a result of an injury or incapacity, if they are being medically treated or if they are reasonably suspected to be under the influence of drugs. If someone is unconscious, being arrested for vehicular manslaughter or there was an accident resulting from the DUI that resulted in serious bodily injury, either a breath or a blood test may be administered without consent of the suspect.

In Washington State the most common way that the admissibility of a blood sample can be questioned in a court of law is if the sample was improperly collected or stored.

Washington State DUI Attorney

Washington State DUI Attorney