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Probation Violations in Washington and Urine Tests

Posted by Tony Swartz | Mar 09, 2023

Are you on probation for driving while under the influence of alcohol or another chemical substance in Washington? If so, chances are  that you may be asked to provide a urine sample. There are many questions about this type of chemical testing.

At Law Office of Tony Swartz, Tony is a DUI defense attorney in Kittitas and Yakima Counties. Here, he will discuss what urine tests are and provide the information you need to understand how this type of chemical test could impact your case. Contact Tony at 509-293-7593 to schedule a free consultation to learn more.

When Are Urine Tests Used in Probation Cases in Washington?

Typically, a urine sample is taken in the presence of a probation officer.

The urine test can detect metabolites within an individual's blood to determine if an individual consumed alcohol or drugs recently. Because urine samples provide less reliable evidence than breath and blood tests, they are rarely used in criminal cases OTHER than probation tests.

In jurisdictions where this test is utilized, such as Kittitas County or Yakima County, they are used both for drunk driving and drugged driving-related offenses where someone was later found guilty and placed on probation. Sometimes these tests may be less reliable; therefore, they could be vulnerable to challenges in the right situation.

Can You Refuse a Urine Test in Washington?

Like breath and blood tests, you may want to refuse to submit to a urine test. But also like breath and blood test refusals, there may be consequences. Most probation officers look at a refusal to provide a urine test in the same way as if you gave a positive one - in other words, even if you think you may be positive, it is tough to decide to refuse given consequences may still come from the refusal. Speaking to a Kittitas and Yakima Counties DUI defense attorney is in your best interest so that you know what your legal options are in any given scenario.

Possible Consequences of Urine Test Refusal

If you refuse a urine sample for whatever reason, you could risk:

  • jail time
  • extra probation time
  • other conditions such as community service, treatment extensions, or anything else the judge thinks is necessary in your scenario

Problems with Urine Tests in Washington

Urine tests are commonly believed to be the most unreliable of the three chemical tests used in the criminal system. The issues could include misidentified substances, testing issues, and more. Also, like breath and blood tests, urine samples and urine tests must be handled and conducted in accordance with lab regulations. Failure to comply with these regulations or any type of tampering or mishandling of the sample can compromise the integrity of the test results.

Contact a DUI Defense Attorney

Urine tests are widely known to have issues. You should not go into court and just admit to your probation violation because you think it is a slam dunk for the probation officer or prosecutor. You might still need to admit the violation, but it is wise to contact a Kittitas County DUI attorney or Yakima County criminal defense attorney before you do so.

At Law Office of Tony Swartz, Tony has looked at many urine tests both as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. Defenses or explanations are usually helpful in these types of cases. To learn more about how he can defend you, contact Tony by filling out the online form or calling us at 509-293-7593 to schedule a free consultation.

About the Author

Tony Swartz

Tony Swartz is an experienced lawyer in Washington State. He has handled, most from start to finish, over 10,000 criminal cases with a focus on DUIs and other misdemeanor charges. In addition to his legal practice, Tony is a recognized expert in the field and routinely teaches classes at both Central Washington University and Yakima Valley College.

Law Office of Tony Swartz

Tony Swartz is a lawyer practicing criminal defense in Kittitas County and Yakima County who specializes in Ellensburg DUIs and Yakima DUIs. He also represents clients with other misdemeanor charges. Call today for a free consultation.

Tony moved to Ellensburg in 2005 and has lived here since other than a brief break for law school. He attended CWU and Willamette University College of Law. He is also on the executive board for Ellensburg Music Festival, Ellensburg Downtown Rotary, and Ellensburg Big Band (where he also plays trumpet). He also plays hockey at the Yakima Ice Rink and Kraken Community Iceplex, in addition to attending a lot of Seattle Kraken games.

Contact Info

​PO Box 684
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Office: 422 N Pine, Ellensburg WA 98926

[email protected]
Fax: 509-295-8378