Portable Breath Tests (PBTs)
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Washington law and “portable breath tests” (PBTs).
Law enforcement officers in Snohomish County will often carry a “portable breath test” or “PBT” with them in their car. As detailed below, the Washington Administrative Code specifically allows for their usage in a limited capacity. Many Snohomish County law enforcement officers will attempt to use these portable breath test devices as part of their formulation for probable cause to arrest you for drunk driving. The officers are legally required to inform you that the portable breath test is voluntary. In our experience, however, many do not. Many clients over the years have related to us that the officer simply told them that he wanted them to provide a breath sample and that they felt as if they had no choice but to provide one.
Exercise your right to speak with a Snohomish County DUI attorney first.
The simple truth is that these portable breath test devices are notoriously inaccurate, and you should always politely refuse to blow into one. You are not legally required to provide a breath sample into one of these devices, and it is almost never to your benefit to do so. Instead, tell the officer that you are willing to consider submitting to a breath test at the police station AFTER you have had a chance to exercise your right to speak with a Snohomish County DUI attorney.
Can the use of a portable breath test device be challenged in Washington State?
There are also very specific procedures that must be followed in order for a portable breath test to even legally be used as part of an officer’s reasonable formulation for probable cause to arrest someone for DUI here in Washington State. The Snohomish County DUI attorneys at the Newcombe Law Offices are trained to look for technical deficiencies in the officer’s report with regard to the administration of these portable breath tests. Our lawyers are also trained in how to cross examine law enforcement officers on the subject. If the officer improperly relied upon a portable breath test, there may be grounds to challenge the validity of your drunk driving arrest.
Contact an Everett DUI lawyer for your risk-free no-obligation consultation.
If you’ve been pulled over to the side of the road and have been subject to a portable breath test device by the officer who pulled you over, contact us right away. You have legal rights, and we are ready to defend them. Get the help and answers you need by calling in today.
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