Are You Required to Submit to a Portable Breath Test?
If You Don't Are There Any Consequences?
I'm often asked if someone is required to submit to the portable breath test (PBT) on the side of the road. A lot of times, I hear that people are falsely informed by law enforcement that if they fail to submit to the PBT they will lose their license and that is patently false. There is no repercussion for declining to participate in the PBT. In fact, the PBT is completely voluntary and the results garnered from the device may only be used in assisting law enforcement with making a probable cause (arrest) decision. See WAC 448-15-020.
Additionally, before the results may be used in establishing probable cause, the person administering the PBT must follow specific protocols. If the protocols are not followed, it is not a valid result and the court should not consider them in determining whether a law enforcement officer had probable cause.
The only breath test in Washington which has implications to your driving privilege is a test administered on a state approved machine intended for evidential breath test gathering (Datamaster and Drager Alcotest 9510). See, WAC 448-16-020.
If you or anyone you know has bee arrested for DUI in Washington give us a call today. (425) 522-4200.