WE'RE HERE TO SERVEYour Lawyer for Life

Driver refuse test for alcohol content with use of breathalyzer
Washington State

Refusing a Breathalyzer

Implied Consent Laws
Washington's "implied consent" laws specify that all motorists agree to take a breath test if lawfully arrested for driving under the influence. In addition to any DUI penalties, a driver who refuses testing will have his or her license revoked for two years for a first offense, three years for a second offense, and four years for a third offense. Prior offenses include both DUI convictions and test refusals.

Every driver in the State of Washington impliedly consents to providing a breath or blood sample after being arrested for DUI. Failure to provide such a sample after a lawful request is known as a “refusal.”

For a Washington Court or the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) to find that you have refused to provide a properly requested breath or blood test, several things must be proven. First you must have been read or been allowed to read what are known as your implied consent warnings. These can also be found in RCW 46.20.308. It is important to note that behavior apart from saying, “I refuse” can constitute a refusal. An officer may construe a refusal in cases where a person delays or pretends to blow into the breath tube. This is known as a constructive refusal and while it may be harder to prove than an actual refusal, Washington DUI law does recognize it as a refusal, nonetheless.
What Is the Legal Limit for Alcohol?
According to state law, a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, within two hours of driving, meets the definition of “driving under the influence.” BAC is a measurement of the amount of alcohol present in your bloodstream, as measured by a blood or breath test. BAC increases as a person continues drinking, and gradually decreases as the body metabolizes the alcohol.

Evidence of BAC over the legal limit is not required to convict a person of DUI, however, as state law only requires that a person be impaired by drugs or alcohol. Without BAC test results, or even with a BAC below the legal limit, prosecutors can use other evidence, such as witness testimony regarding unsafe driving.
Consequences of Refusing

License suspension. When a driver refuses testing, the officer is supposed to report the refusal to the Department of Licensing. The department will then suspend the driver’s license for two years. If the driver has a prior refusal or DUI conviction within the last seven years, the suspension will be three years. And if the motorist has two prior refusals or convictions within seven years, the third offense will result in a four-year suspension.

Restricted license. Generally, the suspended driver can immediately request a restricted license after installing an ignition interlock device (IID). This license authorizes the holder to drive during the suspension period but only with an IID.

Evidentiary uses. In the criminal case, the prosecutor is allowed to tell the jury that the driver refused testing. Prosecutors often argue that a refusal is evidence of the defendant trying to conceal impairment.

Criminal charges. A driver who refuses testing might face increased penalties if convicted of a DUI in criminal court.

Do I Have to Do a Breath or Blood Test?
You are not required to submit to a breath test or a field sobriety test, as the U.S. Constitution protects you from offering evidence against yourself. If you refuse such a test when requested by a police officer, however, the officer may arrest you and seek a warrant to perform a breath or blood test. Because of the way the body breaks down alcohol over time, police treat this sort of issue with urgency. Some law enforcement officers around the country have asserted a need to draw blood from a DUI suspect without a warrant, but the U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether this is permissible.

If you are facing criminal charges, it is crucial to have effective representation immediately. An alleged DUI charge does not mean Guilty!

Even if you think the facts of the case aren’t in your favor, having the best possible criminal representation can be the difference between jail time and probation, or having your record destroyed with an avoidable felony or misdemeanor conviction. At Snohomish Law Group, our criminal defense attorneys give you time and attention, to ensure you are treated fairly under the criminal justice system.

We know State DUI Laws

We have a unique appreciation of the difficult challenges our clients face on a daily and long-term basis. We view our role as far more than just that of legal counsel. We are an extension of our clients’ lives.

Unlike lawyers at other law firms, our lawyers have dealt with thousands of cases, litigating matters of a wide range of severities and we have delivered important victories to our clients. Our reputation as aggressive, zealous advocates in the courtroom allows us to deliver results to our clients.

Our goal is to fight for and to deliver to you the best results possible, whether that be by way of an acquittal or favorable judgement at trial, a favorable settlement deal, or an outright dismissal. Unlike other firms, we will give you our all. There is no such thing as a case that is too big or too small.

To schedule a confidential consultation, contact us online or at 425-444-4444

30 Years of Experience.
We know the Law.

Our experienced attorneys handle a broad range of complex legal issues for individuals facing alleged criminal charges and complex personal injury cases. Snohomish Law Group is here for you. Every step of the way.
Ideating in Law
Experienced attorneys with an abundance of strategy and ideas to solve your problem.
Court Room Experience
Recognized by clients and peers for courtroom experience.
The Right People
Efficient, experienced and assertive. Our team is your team every step of the way.
Justice Served
We are dedicated to protecting your Civil Rights and ensuring your future.

Your Future Matters. Our Results Prove It.

Personal Injury and Criminal charges can have life-long consequences. So can choosing the wrong attorney.

We provide no cost - no obligation legal consultation. To schedule an appointment, complete the form below, call or email us directly.

    The use of this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship with the firm or any individual member of the firm. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

    Snohomish Law Group Wins Cases.
    While every case is different, the goal is always the same. Obtain a Dismissal.


    Snohomish Law Group is dedicated to protecting your civil rights and will fight for you every step of the way. If you have been charged with a DUI start here.

    Criminal Defense

    SLG is dedicated to protecting your civil rights and will fight for you every step of the way. If you have been charged with a crime, start here.

    Personal Injury

    Snohomish Law Group is dedicated to providing help and support for those who have been seriously injured due to negligence or accidents. If you need help, start here.

    Always There for You to Defend Your Rights


    Results, Communication and Value Guaranteed


    Your Choice of Attorney Throughout the Process

    “Snohomish Law Group attorney Philip Wakefield did an outstanding job in representing my daughter. He laid out the legal process in detail, set expectations, and worked hard to obtain a better than hoped for result. Should anyone in the Snohomish area ever need an attorney, I highly recommend Snohomish Law Group!!”

    David Dalton

    “I’m going to write my review straight forward I was looking at being convicted of my 10th DUI I thought I was dead meat as they had me dead to rights. However Mr. Wakefield and his team proceeded to not only get the charge reduced but also no fine and no jail time. My eternal gratitude to the Snohomish Law Group”

    Jonathan Thomas

    “Mr. Wakefield and his expertise was able to get myself and my siblings a large chunk (Much more than we imagined) of our inheritance from our Auntie that was wrongfully taken from us after her passing. We are eternally grateful to Mr. Wakefield and all that helped him in our case, to achieve this settlement. Thank you so much for your compassion.”

    Roberta Lindsay

    First Choice
    Bernstein is the first choice for criminal law.
    We’re here to protect you in front of the court.
    We can confront your arguments for you.
    Rule of Law
    We’ll be there to protect your rights in court.
    Hotel California
    We actively share our knowledge and pass down years of experience to maintain excellence throughout the firm.
    Reach Us
    We are diligent and determined because we care about the success of our clients.
    Social Networks
    Meet and greet us on our social media accounts, or just to say hi. You can find us here.
    Snohomish Law Group PLLC Footer Logo small
    Snohomish Law Group

    Snohomish Law Group PLLC represents clients throughout Washington State including Seattle, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Bothell, Everett, Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Marysville, Mill Creek, Tacoma, Federal Way and Eastern Washington. Serving King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties.
    Reach Us
    We look forward to hearing from you. We can help - even with a phone call.
    3216 Wetmore Avenue, Suite 206, Everett, WA 98201
    We are diligent and determined because we care about the success of our clients.
    Social Networks
    Meet and greet us on our social media accounts, or just to say hello. You can find us here.
    The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only. Use of this website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

    2023 Copyright ©Snohomish Law Group PLLC / 2023 Copyright ©Little Red Rottenhood Design Media. All rights reserved.