Most DUI cases begin with the initial traffic stop, accident, or mechanical breakdown. One second you are pulling your license and registration from the dashboard. The next you are being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
If an officer stops you and suspects that you are driving under the influence, they will ask you to step from the vehicle. The officer usually asks to administer field sobriety tests (FST) and for a suspect to submit to a portable breath test (PBT).
These tests are all voluntary and should be refused no matter what until you have been able to speak to an attorney.
If the officer determines he has enough evidence for a DUI based on the “totality of the evidence,” he or she will make the arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence. An individual must be advised of their constitutional rights after they are arrested and before the officer conducts any further interrogation.
Following a DUI arrest, a suspect usually undergoes an evidentiary breath test at the police station. Again, you should not submit to any test until you are able to speak to an attorney. In some instances, if there is an accident that causes injury to the driver or if the person is deemed incapable of giving a breath test, authorities may take the driver to a hospital for a blood test.
At The Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden, we know that being taken to the station and arrested is scary. Refusing tests when the police officers ask you to take them can be hard to do. While they are not coercive, they are naturally intimidating. By contacting our office, you are taking the first step toward making sure that your arrest happens properly and none of your rights are infringed.
The law in Washington State does permit an officer to obtain a search warrant to obtain a blood sample from a suspect. A search warrant is not a request nor does it require a suspect to give consent. An officer must have a lawful basis to obtain a search warrant and probable cause is required for a search warrant to be signed off before obtaining blood samples.
When police officers suspect that an individual is driving under the influence of marijuana, they will go to these lengths to achieve test results.
Some police agencies book the accused in jail at the conclusion of the arrest. Many others are not booked, and released instead. Almost all law enforcement agencies will not even give information for a court date. Some individuals may be released but may be given information of a first appearance (arraignment) which likely will be a few hours to a few days after a release.
It is very important after being arrested for DUI that you contact an attorney early on. Many consequences of a DUI can be avoided if handled properly and in a timely manner.