Kendrick and Malane

4109 Tieton Drive | Yakima, Washington 98908 | Phone: (509) 966-4255 | Fax: (509) 966-2288

What if You are Stopped for a DUI

or Other Criminal Traffic Offense

If you are stopped or contacted by an officer for any criminal traffic offense, such as DUI or Physical Control, be courteous to the officer and be prepared to furnish your license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. However, you should not answer other questions, particularly questions that are designed to find out whether or not you have consumed any alcohol or drugs or even prescription medicines.

You should not lie to the officer in any regard, but politely refuse to answer until you have had a chance to consult with an attorney. You should ask to speak with an attorney before answering questions, and in the case of a DUI or Physical Control, before submitting to field tests, such as eye tests, balance tests and walking a line. You cannot be required to perform those tests nor to answer questions other than routine identification information.

In cases such as DUI and Physical Control, you may be asked to submit to a portable breath alcohol test that may be offered roadside. You do not need to take it. However, if you are arrested you will likely be asked to submit to a BAC test (a breath alcohol test on a larger breath machine at a jail or at some other DUI processing location), or you may be asked to take a blood alcohol test under certain circumstances. If you refuse to give a breath alcohol or blood test, you will lose your license or privilege to drive for at least one year, and you cannot even have an occupational license for at least the first 90 days of that time. Therefore, in most instances we recommend to clients that they take the breath test, but there are some very important exceptions. Therefore, you should always ask for the opportunity to speak with an attorney, if possible, before making that decision.

However, you do not have the right to have an attorney present for the purpose of breath or blood tests, nor do you have an absolute right to speak with an attorney before deciding whether or not to take the test. Under our law, the officer must give you a reasonable opportunity to contact an attorney by telephone, but the officer does not have to wait very long.

If you are arrested for a DUI or any other criminal offense or serious traffic offense, feel free to call us at Kendrick and Malane, day or night at 509-966-4255 or 1-800-354-2310. In such emergency situations, even after hours our answering service will put you in touch with an experienced attorney who can give you the advice you need, when you need it. We do not charge for such emergency services.