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Renton DUI Lawyer

Field Sobriety Tests in WA State

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WA State DUI Lawyer Jason S. Newcombe

(425) 455-4646

Renton DUI Field Sobriety Tests

Under WA state law, you are NOT required to take any Field Sobriety Tests, regardless of the circumstances.  They are not mandatory.  They are voluntary, even though the officer who stopped you may conveniently fail to properly advice you of this fact.  Indeed, many officers act in every way as if you do not have any choice but to honor their request and submit to them.  This is simply not true.

Because they are voluntary, inaccurate, and unreliable, you should never agree to take them.  You should always politely but firmly inform the officer that you do not wish to take the tests.  You should then immediately request to speak with a Renton DUI lawyer and refuse to answer any more questions until you are allowed to do so.

The officer is not required to put you in touch with an attorney along the side of the road.  But he is required to make a reasonable attempt to put you in touch with a Renton DUI attorney back at the precinct station BEFORE he or she asks you to submit to a breath test on the Datamaster machine. 

You do not have the right to speak with a specific Renton DUI attorney, however, just an attorney.  Often, this is a public defender.  This attorney should, however, be able to assess your situation and assist you in a making a decision about whether or not to blow back at the station.

These roadside gymnastics are a joke.

In our opinion, these roadside gymnastics are a joke.  Many of our Renton DUI clients would have a lot of difficult performing them during the day, on a good night's sleep, and in a warm well-light room, let alone at 2:00 a.m. in the morning along a cold and windy roadside. 

And to make matters worse, your performance on these tests may be inaccurately described when the officer writes his or her formal report.  You get three guesses at to which way the results are almost always skewed, and the first two don't count.  So, do yourself a favor.  When it comes to field sobriety tests, just say no.

Our Renton DUI lawyers believe that most officers have already made up their mind that they are going to arrest you before you ever start the first test.  In reality, these tests are not designed to do anything except attempt to gather additional incriminating evidence against you.  Don't provide it and accidentally arm the state with more potential evidence against you.

Politely decline the portable breath test by the side of the road too.

You should also refuse to blow into any portable or hand held breath test along the side of the road.  Many law enforcement officers in Renton and throughout King County carry these hand held devices and request that you provide a sample by the side of the road. 

First of all, these hand held portable devices are NOT accurate.  In study after study, their potential margin of error can be huge.  Additionally, the officers rarely comply with the strict requirements and specific instructions regarding their usage, which often skews the already inaccurate results further.