If a driver is arrested for a Washington Felony DUI, he or she no longer has the right to refuse a breath or blood test
Washington's newly revised implied consent law has only been in effect since August 1st, and one man has already been taken into custody as a result. Implied consent laws exist in almost all U.S. states, but law enforcement officials seldom mention them when apprehending suspects.
In general, this type of law dictates that a driver gives his implied consent to a breath or blood test. Most states (including Washington) allow drivers to expressly refuse the test(s), but with the consequence being a substantial longer license revocation as well as additional jail and fines..
In Washington State, citizens have long been granted the right to breath or blood tests under implied consent, but that refusal means an automatic one-year license suspension. With the August 1st amendments to the law, a person who is arrested for a felony DUI no longer can refuse a breath or blood test.
One man recently learned this the hard way. The Issaquah Press reports that 32-year-old Wiyual Rut was arrested under the revised law on August 19, only 18 days after the law took effect. To exacerbate the charges even more, Rut had three children in the vehicle, all under three years of age. Each child can potentially add 12 months to Rut's sentence, if he receives a conviction.
So what makes Rut's case different from regular DUI cases? Rut's charge is a Class-C felony, and that renders him legally unable to refuse a chemical test under the new law. A standard Washington DUI is classified as a gross misdemeanor, but if the suspect has had four or more DUI convictions in the past ten years, or if the suspect's reckless driving has led to homicide at any point, the charge becomes a felony. Rut already has four DUI convictions under his belt.
With Washington's ever-changing DUI laws, it's essential to have experienced legal representation on your side. If you have been arrested for suspicion of DUI or Physical control, contact Wolff Defense today. The attorneys are available 7 days a week at 425-284-2000.