What evidence did the officer need to justify stopping me? Arresting me?
In order for the stop to withstand judicial scrutiny the officer must convince a judge that he observed you violating a rule of the roadway. In order for the arrest to stand, it must be supported by probable cause. This means that a reasonable person standing in the officer’s shoes would have reason to believe that a crime was being committed.
Should I have taken Field Sobriety Tests?
Whether or not you take Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) is entirely voluntary. You are not required to perform them. Officers and prosecutors use your performance on these tests as a means to prosecute you. Your performance is often skewed by the officer to help his case. Our advice is to never perform these tests.
Should I have taken a portable breath test?
Taking the portable breath test is entirely voluntary. The results are rarely if ever admitted in court but can be used by the DOL against you in a hearing to suspend your license. Our position is that the results of a PBT very rarely are helpful and thus the test should be declined.
I was not read my rights. Will that help my case?
An officer is required under Washington law to advise you of your rights as soon as practicable after the arrest. Failure to do so can result in the suppression of evidence obtained after the rights should have been read to you.
Should I have taken a breath test at the station?
This is not a simple question. The majority of the time the answer is “yes” but there could be consequences regardless of what you decide. Hindsight is always 20/20 but after consulting about your case, a DUI lawyer can usually tell you what you should have done.
Could I have taken a blood test as opposed to a breath test?
No. But you could have taken one in addition to the breath test. Washington law requires that the officer who processed you advise you that you have the right to additional testing. However, you can’t choose to take a blood test “instead” of a breath test. This often confuses people and can lead to a refusal being entered by the officer
The officer did not book me into jail and released me after I took/refused the breath test. What does that mean? Was I still arrested?
You were still arrested, you were just not booked. In many jurisdictions it’s normal for the officer to release you after processing. In others, people are routinely booked.