Voluntary Blood Tests For DUIs In Washington State

Roger Priest is a criminal defense attorney in Vancouver WA with extensive courtroom experience in Washington’s complex criminal laws

Most Washington DUI cases involve breath tests.  More recently, Washington police officers have been skipping the breath testing process altogether where DUI impairment is suspected for marijuana or other drugs rather than alcohol.  In these cases, it is often faster to simply ask a driver if they will agree to give police a blood sample.  If the driver agrees to a voluntary blood draw, the officer can usually finish a DUI investigation in a fraction of the time without having to worry about the complicated process of first making a formal arrest and seeking a blood draw warrant.  While this is great for police, it is never beneficial to a suspect to volunteer for a blood draw.  Any criminal defense attorney will tell you the same thing.  Making the police’s job easier usually makes your life harder.  It may be tempting to think that police will go easier on you if you cooperate.  It is true that you should always treat police with respect and be polite to them.  However, if you volunteer to a blood draw they will seek to use the blood test results against you 100% of the time.  If the blood draw shows that you were impaired, you will not likely be able to challenge that evidence later if you simply agreed to give it to them.  Take it from a DUI lawyer, do not consent to a blood draw if asked by the police.  Make them go through the steps of obtaining a search warrant.  There are many reasons why this is better for you.  Read below to find out why.

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dui voluntary blood draw vancouver wa

If You Have Been Charged With A DUI In Clark County or Vancouver WA, Time Is Of The Essence!

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Breath Tests v. Blood Tests

Breath test cases can be more difficult for police than blood test cases.  A normal alcohol DUI case usually requires a DUI arrest, a vehicle tow, an opportunity to contact an attorney, implied consent procedures, and a 15-minute observation period before a breath test can be performed.  This almost always takes at least an hour after arrest to accomplish.  In certain cases, it can takes much more time.  With the recent legalization of marijuana in Washington State, doing a breath test is often not necessary.  If the officer suspects marijuana or other drugs are the cause of the DUI, it makes sense to simply ask the driver if he or she will consent to a voluntary blood draw.  If the driver agrees, then entire process can be done right there on the side of the road.  Typically, the officer has the driver sign a consent form and then calls for an ambulance to drive over and draw blood right there on the spot.  This entire process can take 15 minutes or less in some cases.

Most people are uncomfortable telling the police “no”.  In fact, many people don’t realize that they can say “no”.  Not only is is OK to say “no”, it is your constitutional right to say “no”.  You cannot get in any trouble for not consenting to a blood draw.  In fact, there is no good reason to consent to a blood draw in most cases.

More Procedures More Problems

The more complicated the process is, the more likely the police will make a mistake.  If you consent to a blood draw in your DUI case, the police don’t really have to do any work.  If you refuse their request for blood, they have to make an arrest, write a search warrant, get a judge’s approval, then take you to a hospital to draw the blood.  By making the police do more work, you make it more likely that they skip a necessary legal step or make a mistake in the search warrant application process.  These mistakes can lead to suppression of the blood test in court.  If the blood test gets thrown out due to police mistakes, you will have a much stronger case and more leverage.

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Roger handled my case promptly and painlessly. We are from out of state and had spoken with quite a few attorneys in the area before we made the trip. Roger was middle of the road cost-wise (which was truly fair)and was clearly competent, handling the case in one trip over as oppose to the two or even three trip process many of the others were communicating would be the case. I would hire again without a second thought. Thanks again Roger.

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Roger Priest is professional, intelligent and experienced, you can tell by the way he holds himself in court. Out of the 21 lawyers I interviewed and compared on an excel spreadsheet. I put my trust in Roger and he didn\'t let me down.

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