Can You Refuse A DUI Breathalyzer Test In Arizona?

Can You Refuse A DUI Breathalyzer Test In Arizona?

You can legally say no to DUI tests like breathalyzers or blood tests in Arizona. This right comes from the US Constitution, which protects you from having to provide evidence against yourself. Courts have agreed that these DUI tests are a type of search, so an officer usually needs a warrant to make you take one of these tests. But there's a catch. If a police officer doesn't have a warrant, they might ask you nicely for permission to do the test anyway. If you say yes, then they don't need a warrant.

Refusing a breathalyzer or blood test has serious consequences. Arizona law says if you drive, you've basically agreed to take these tests when asked to do so. If you refuse, your driver's license can be suspended for a year. If it's your second time refusing within about a year and a half, you could lose your license for two years.

If you're facing a DUI charge in Phoenix, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Attorney Chad Pajersk is one of Arizona's select board-certified criminal defense specialists. Mr. Pajerski has a high reputation for excelling in courtroom defense. At Pajerski Law, we safeguard your rights and seek the best-case outcome. We offer a free case evaluation to help clarify your options. Contact us immediately for a consultation.

Consequences For Refusing A DUI Breathalyzer or Blood Test In Arizona

Refusing a DUI test in Arizona, like a breathalyzer or blood test, is a serious decision with significant consequences. While you have the right to decline the test, doing so carries legal and practical implications you should fully understand before making a choice.

  1. License Suspension: First Refusal: Your driver's license will be suspended for one year. Second Refusal (within seven years): Your license will be suspended for two years.

  1. Warrant for Test: Even if you refuse the initial test, the officer can still seek a warrant from a judge to have you tested. This means refusing the test may not prevent it from happening in the end.

  1. Arrest without Test: If the officer has sufficient evidence ("probable cause") to believe you were driving under the influence (DUI), they can still arrest you regardless of your refusal.

  1. Evidence in Court: Your refusal to take the test can be used against you in court. The prosecution may argue that your refusal suggests guilt and implies you were trying to hide your impairment.

  1. Treated as a Refusal: If you're unable to complete the test due to medical reasons or other valid circumstances, it will still be considered a refusal with the same consequences as an outright denial.

  1. Getting Your License Back: After your suspension period ends, regaining your license is not automatic. You will need to complete a drug or alcohol screening program. This involves attending education classes or evaluations to assess your relationship with substances and the risks of DUI. Only after successful completion can you apply for license reinstatement.

Understanding Arizona's Implied Consent Laws

The Implied Consent Law, ARS 28-1321, applies to all drivers in Arizona. It basically means that by driving, you give your automatic consent to a breathalyzer or other chemical tests if arrested for DUI. This helps officers gather evidence. Normally, police need a warrant to conduct these tests. This is to protect your Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches. However, there are exceptions.

One major exception to the warrant requirement is your express consent. If you agree to the test after being arrested for DUI, the police can proceed without a warrant. There might be other situations where a warrant isn't needed, like in emergencies or when evidence might disappear quickly (like the alcohol in your system).

If the police conduct a test without your express consent, without a warrant, and without any other valid exception, it might be a violation of your rights. This could affect the legality of the test results and potentially the entire DUI case. Also, if you're forced or coerced into taking these tests, that's also a problem. Consent must be freely given to be valid. If it's proven that you were coerced, the test results might be thrown out, and your rights may have been violated.

Contact An Experienced DUI Defense Attorney

Facing a DUI charge in Phoenix, Arizona, is a serious matter, and it demands expert legal representation. Chad Pajerski of Pajerski Law is a seasoned attorney with a proven track record in DUI defense. With his knowledge and dedication, he is well-equipped to guide you through the legal process and advocate on your behalf. When your future is at stake, having Chad Pajerski in your corner can make all the difference.

If you're in need of a skilled attorney to handle your DUI case in Phoenix or the greater Phoenix area, Chad Pajerski is your trusted partner for expert legal representation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and take the first step toward securing your rights and your future.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Pajerski Law's legal team is licensed to practice law in Arizona. We invite you to contact us, but please be aware that contacting us does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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