Dräger Suppression Order Upends DUI
Dräger Suppression Order Upends DUI

What does the Kitsap County District Court breath test suppression ruling mean for you if you have a pending Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Washington State?

Draeger Breath Test Suppression Order Summary

This decision, which was filed June 13, 2022, means that breath test results from Draeger Alcotest machines cannot be used as evidence in Kitsap County District Court. But you can still be prosecuted for DUI if they have sufficient other evidence such as affected driving, admissions to drinking or drug use, and poor performance on physical tests. The ruling may improve your bargaining position with the prosecutor and result in a greater reduction in your charge because of the relative strength of the remaining admissible evidence.

Draeger Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

In State v Austin R. Keller, The Kitsap County District Court ruled that Draeger machine generated breath tickets are inadmissible in Kitsap County District Court because the State is unable to produce prima facie evidence of admissibility as required by State v Baker and Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 46.61.506.

This ruling is limited to cases in Kitsap County District Court at this time. This court only has jurisdiction/authority over cases occurring in Kitsap County District Court. As other counties and cities courts are presented with challenges based upon these issues, they may also decide to suppress the breath ticket result, or they may decide differently. This will likely take many months or years to be resolved.

The Findings and Conclusions in Keller may be helpful in Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) administrative hearings because the Keller court found that the declarations filed by the state toxicologist were false or misleading. They were false because the Draeger machine was not compliant with Washington Administrative Code 448-16-060. It is still too early to know how DOL hearing officers will rule on challenges to the breath ticket based upon the issues raised in Keller.

Let Feldman Law Fight For You

Allow me to fight the license suspension hearing at DOL. I look for defenses to challenge the officer’s reason for stopping your car or the reason for arresting you. Call James Feldman now at (253) 759-4555. I will help you challenge your ticket.