Procedures and Protocols; Protocols and Procedures

Currently in Washington State law enforcement agents processing a person for DUI use the BAC Datamaster and BAC Datamaster CDM machines to obtain breath samples. In any given DUI case one of the central issues is whether a breath test is admissible into evidence and if so … what weight should be given to the test results. Often breath or blood test results are challenged on procedural and/ or administration grounds. In short, did the officer follow the procedures and protocols for breath/ blood testing. For example: (1) did the officer check the detainee’s mouth prior to the test, (2) did the officer complete a 15 minute observation period, (3) did the officer change mouthpieces for each test conducted on the detainee, (4) did the detainee put anything in his mouth during the observation period, such as his fingers, or a drink (including even water), (5) did the detainee vomit, regurgitate or smoke during the observation period, (6) did the detainee have any foreign substance in his mouth, such as a tongue ring, chewing tobacco, gum or the like, (7) was there an incomplete or invalid sample, or an ambient fail evidenced by the machine, (8) did the machine have its Quality Assurance Procedure (QAP) conducted within the last year, (9) was the simulator solution changed in the last 60 days, (10) was there a denial of the detainee’s right to counsel, if requested.

Of course, there are other procedural issues that should also be looked at and possibly raised to challenge the admissibility of breath tests, and that is why hiring a seasoned Seattle DUI attorney is imperative when facing the prospect of a DUI conviction. A qualified and trained Seattle DUI lawyer will sift through the myriad and numerous defenses in a Washington DUI case. So if facing a DUI, do not go it alone and do not just hire some ‘general’ practitioner. Washington DUI laws are far too complicated for any ol’ attorney. So … be smart … hire a qualified, skilled Seattle DUI lawyer when arrested for DUI in Washington State.

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