Thursday, November 29, 2007

Judge tosses Hague's breath test in DUI case

Judge tosses Hague's breath test in DUI case, Seattle Times, Nov. 28, 2007.

The judge found that the warning the police give (as required by RCW 46.20.308) before administering a breathalyzer test to King County Councilwoman Jane Hague did not adequately warn her of the possible impact of a high reading.

[William] Kirk, Hague's attorney, argued Wednesday that application of the implied-consent law depends on drivers agreeing to the tests "knowingly and intelligently" and after "having been fully informed of the consequences."

As written, Kirk argued, the warning given to Hague was incomplete and failed to fully document the consequences of allowing the test to be administered.

"The blame doesn't lie with the State Patrol," said Kirk, but rather with the language the Legislature adopted in 2004.
A DUI suspect can still be prosecuted without breathalyzer evidence; it's just harder for the prosecution to make its case.

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