DUI Refusal

Lawyers for Drunk Driving Charges in Seattle

In Washington, if you have a driver’s license, you’ve implicitly consented to take a breath test if the police suspect you of driving under the influence (DUI). If you refuse to take the test, the officer detaining you is supposed to let you know that you have the right to refuse, but that the refusal will result in a mandatory driver’s license suspension. The length of the suspension will vary depending on whether this is a first or subsequent offense. At Blair & Kim, our experienced Seattle DUI attorneys may be able to provide aggressive, knowledgeable legal representation for your DUI refusal, as well as DUI criminal charges.

DUI Refusal

Under Revised Code of Washington (RCW) section 46.20.308, someone who operates a car or other motor vehicle in Washington is deemed to have consented to breath tests if arrested for a crime in which the arresting officer has a reasonable basis to think the driver was actually, physically controlling the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Breath tests are supposed to be administered at the police officer’s direction. Before administration of the breath test, the police officer should let the suspect know there is a right to refuse and warn about potential consequences.

If requested, the breath test should be taken within 2 hours of you driving. Generally, blood tests are administered only if you’re suspected to be under the influence of drugs, getting treated in a medical facility, or unconscious at the scene or in the hospital.

Although an officer cannot usually force you to take a chemical test, there are exceptions. You may be required to take a chemical test if somebody was seriously injured or killed in connection with the DUI. Similarly, if you are left unconscious due to a drunk driving accident, the officer would not need to ask you before getting the test administered.

The potential consequences for DUI refusal in Washington vary. If you refuse to take the test, your driver’s license can be denied or revoked for a minimum of a year. Additionally, your refusal to take the breath test can be used against you in a criminal trial. However, if you are 21 and submit to the test and the test shows your BAC is. 08 or more, your driver’s license can be denied, revoked, or suspended for at least 90 days. If you’re a driver under age 21 and your BAC is .02 or more, your driver’s license can also be denied, revoked, or suspended for a minimum of 90 days. You may be able to apply for an ignition interlock device once your license, permit, or driving privilege is denied, revoked, or suspended.


You can ask for a hearing to challenge your suspension for the DUI refusal. You’ll need to pay a fee and make a formal request for the hearing. You will be provided with temporary driving privileges that last until your hearing date. If you don’t ask for the hearing or you ask for a hearing and can’t prove the police didn’t have reasonable cause to believe you were driving under the influence or that you did consent to the test, your license remains on a one-year suspension.

DUI Refusal Penalties

A DUI conviction is a criminal traffic offense that carries criminal penalties. You can be arrested for DUI without a chemical test if a police officer has probable cause to believe you perpetrated a DUI. Two cases will be brought against you, one criminal and one administrative. These are independent cases. If you don’t ask for a Department of Licensing hearing within the appropriate time frame, your license will be suspended automatically. Our lawyers can handle both criminal DUI cases and hearings before the Department of Licensing.

Consult an Experienced DUI Refusal Attorney in Seattle

If you are facing drunk driving charges in or near Seattle, you should take both the criminal DUI case and the DUI refusal case seriously, and consider retaining a criminal defense lawyer who can represent you in both hearings. We defend those accused of DUI and DUI refusal in communities including Kings County, Bellevue, Kirkland and Redmond. Call us at (206) 622-6562 or contact us via our online form.

Client Reviews
Mark C. Blair has no rival in his field in Seattle. A consummate professional. Communication was brief, straightforward, easy to understand, and without a typical condescending tone you can sometimes experience from attorneys on top of their field. Correspondence was timely and always affective. Any in need of criminal defense, should have a conversation with Mr. Blair, and you will quickly see and feel, no further contacts, referrals, or phone calls need be made. The money and time that can be saved by streamlining future contact and collateral damage in the sentencing process will far and away be worth every penny of the fee structure. Thank you very very much Mark Blair. N.Mark French
Sara Kim of BlairKim is a great attorney. I had never before had representation or dealt with the legal system and she made it very easy for me. She converted the legalese into laymans terms for me and helped me to understand the steps of the process. When I hesitated on certain decisions, Sara gave me the confidence and encouragement to proceed – especially since it was most beneficial to me in the long run. Sara is very straightforward and professional while also being personable and pleasant to deal with. Tamara
Sara Kim was the perfect lawyer for our situation. We were determined not to involve the courts in our divorce. Within the first 30 minutes of consultation, Sara proposed an equitable formula for division of property which we used to negotiate an agreement that felt fair to both of us. Our flat fee arrangement with Sara covered the filing of paperwork which alleviated much pressure for us during a very stressful time. I highly recommend Sara for her flexibility, professionalism, and efficiency. Carrie