SOUTH SOUND SIDEKICK: The Counselor has DUI advice

By Volcano Staff on November 2, 2012

Dear Counselor,

I have friends that have gotten DUIs, and they all seem to have different advice on what to do if you get pulled over and have been drinking. I've got to know, if I get pulled over while drinking, what should I do?

ANSWER: "If I blow there will be trouble, if I don't there will be double."  Remember that.

If pulled over for D.U.I always blow.  When you blow you are complying with the implied consent law and you are giving your attorney tools to work with.

Under the law in Washington state, licensed drivers are required to give a BAC - Blood Alcohol Content - sample to law enforcement officers.  The officer must have 1) have a valid reason to pull you over; 2) reasonable grounds to believe you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol; 3) then they must arrest you; And most important ... 4) give you a BAC test in accordance with the Washington Administrative Code.

All these things must be done in strict accordance with the law and an attorney trained in such matters will have numerous options to help defend you. BUT ONLY IF YOU BLOW. 

Not blowing is giving up your driver's license for two years automatically. Yes you can get occupational licenses and interlock ignition licenses. But your license will almost 100 percent of the time be revoked for two years.

What is worse about not blowing is that your refusal can, and will most certainly, be used against you in a jury trial.  Not blowing will allow a prosecutor to argue your refusal means you were drunk. 

Finally, a refusal to blow results in an automatic penalty enhancement that doubles everything: jail time, license suspension time and the monetary fine.

If I blow there will be trouble ... If I don't there will be double.

So, what to do if you get pulled over? Be polite. This is the single most important thing you can do. Be polite. The officer in the field has enormous discretion in choosing what they do. Even after your arrest, the prosecuting attorney often talks with the arresting officer to see how you acted. If you're an asshole then you are going to feel the pain big time.  If you are really polite it will go a long way in helping your case.

Also, DO NOT TAKE ANY TEST IN THE FIELD. So called Field Sobriety Tests and the Portable Breath Test BT are evidentiary in nature and you have no obligation to take them. POLITELY REFUSE TO DO ANY TEST IN THE FIELD.  No walk and turn, no stand on one leg, no ABCs - none.  You have a constitutional right not to do them and they will be used against you in court.

Lets summarize: be POLITE and ALWAYS BLOW.

Submit your questions to "The Counselor" Jim Foley at Foley will do his best to answer any legal question you have.  Even though he has tried more than 300 jury trials to a verdict, he does not rely on his 22 years of law practice alone. Every question submitted will be reviewed by five or six of the brightest, wisest and most clever lawyers in Thurston County. After a consensus is reached, an opinion will be rendered. Foley is also a world traveler and enjoys building boats, weight lifting and memorizing poetry. He's known for making some of the world's best cookies, bread and pickles. He also enjoys a nice scotch.