When you obtain a driver’s license in the state of Arizona, you have given your implied consent – as opposed to your express consent – to submit to alcohol testing if you are pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). “Implied consent,” in other words, means that you have consented to breath, blood, or urine testing just by driving around.
Did you refuse to take a chemical test? Contact our Phoenix DUI attorneys at (602) 842-6762.
The majority of states in the U.S. (if not all) have implied consent laws on the books, but how you are punished if you break the law is what makes the difference. In some states, refusing to submit to chemical testing is a worse crime than the DUI itself. In Arizona, refusing to take an alcohol test isn't necessarily worse, but it still results in serious consequences.
In Arizona, refusing to submit to breath, blood, or urine testing will result in immediate penalties. A first-time refusal could result in an automatic one-year license suspension. A second refusal could result in a two-year suspension, and a third refusal could result in a three-year suspension. Once you refuse to take the test, the officer will confiscate your driver’s license and issue a temporary permit—which is only good for 15 days. You could also still be arrested for DUI.
It would seem that Arizona's implied consent law is a means of getting around the constitutional guarantees against unreasonable search and seizure and self-incrimination, but courts have consistently ruled that implied consent laws are legal. If you consented to alcohol testing and were subsequently arrested for DUI, you may still have options.
Just because you failed a breath or blood test does not mean you are guilty. It also doesn’t mean that the DUI arrest was lawful. A law enforcement officer must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over, unless you are caught in one of Arizona’s DUI checkpoints. Even then, implied consent hasn’t been enough for prosecutors to prove every driver’s guilt.
Richard Suzuki, the founding attorney at Suzuki Law Offices, is a former state and federal prosecutor. He has handled DUI cases on both sides of the courtroom. Whether you were arrested for the first-time offense or a repeat DUI offense, or you were charged with extreme DUI for high blood alcohol content, our Phoenix DUI lawyers do all we can to help you.
The prosecutor might believe that he or she has the evidence needed to convict you, but this is not necessarily true. It all comes down to the individual circumstances of your case.
Contact us today to learn more about your rights!