Are breath tests admissible in King County BUI cases

seafair_crowds_-_472-300x202I normally don’t like to blog about legal issues I have prevailed on in Court.  Especially when they are not well known and still ongoing.  No offense to anybody who reads this blog but DUI defense is a very competitive business in Seattle and I would rather not do work for my competitors, especially if they are too lazy to do the research themselves.  However with the last of the 2013 BUI cases recently being wrapped up in King County I think it’s safe to blog about this particular issue now.

Any BUI arrest that occurred in 2013 particularly around the SeaFair weekend most likely had an inadmissible breath test.  How can this happen you ask?  How can most every breath test offered during the SeaFair weekend not be admissible in Court?

Every year the Washington State Patrol prepares for the SeaFair weekend like it’s going out of style.  They roll out mobile units for breath testing, they have Judge’s on call for blood test warrants, they secure other Officers from outside jurisdictions to help, and they usually will prepare DUI arrest forms to help expedite the process.

Well in 2013 one of the forms the WSP created specifically for a BUI arrest and to use during the SeaFair weekend had some important language omitted from the form.  From what I hear the largest Prosecutor’s office in the State notified WSP of this mistake but in typical WSP fashion they felt it was still okay to use and decided to move forward despite the Prosecutor’s suggestions.

Well low and behold the Courts held this particular form was incomplete and because of that the subsequent breath test should not be admissible.  Now the question becomes what will happen in 2014.  Will the WSP learn their lesson and fix their mistake or will they continue to be sloppy and use the old form which was incomplete.

I don’t know how many BUI Attorneys picked up on this particular issue.  There are literally only 2 other DUI Lawyers that I trust and share information with so I really don’t know what happened with other BUI cases.  But from what I hear not many Attorneys took advantage of this particular issue.  All I can say are the BUI cases I represented resulted in reductions to boating infractions with minimal fines.  Which is a win win in my book, and my clients were happy with those outcomes.

About the author:  Matthew Leyba is a DUI Lawyer in Seattle, WA.  His practices focuses on DUI cases and other alcohol related offenses including BUI charges.  He is rated a perfect 10 out of 10 by, and listed as one of the best Seattle DUI Lawyers by the Seattle Met Magazine.