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DUI Search Warrants

If you are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) in the state of Arizona it can be a stressful situation. In Arizona, law enforcement officers are required to have probable cause to believe that the driver of a motor vehicle is driving under the influence (DUI) before that driver can be required to submit to any form of test designed to determine their level of blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

In order to prove DUI probable cause, Arizona law enforcement officers may use observations of erratic driving, slurred speech, any odors and they may use a portable breathalyzer. Once the officer is satisfied that probable cause exists they may ask the driver to submit to tests of their blood, urine or breath either at a police station or a local medical facility. The driver may refuse to submit to these tests, but should be aware that this refusal may result in the driver appearing to be guilty due to the state’s implied consent laws.

In order to understand the ramifications of DUI tests it is important that you should consult experienced Arizona DUI lawyers like those associated with the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C. The side of the road is not the appropriate location for engaging in any arguments with law enforcement officers. Save those discussions for subsequent court proceedings.

If you are stopped for a DUI investigation it is important for you to be polite when speaking with law enforcement officers. It is, also, important for you to know that you are not required to answer any questions without legal counsel present. If you do not answer the questions of law enforcement officers your reply to these questions should be polite and contain vague information rather than specific information. It is best that you refrain from disclosing information about any alcohol you may have consumed or where you were prior to being stopped by law enforcement. That information will only lead them to pursue probable cause to further test for DUI or to possible arrest.

Drivers being investigated for DUI also have a right to refuse to submit to a field sobriety test as they can be used to show probable cause. Refusal to submit to field sobriety tests might frustrate law enforcement officers, thus drivers should respectfully tell officers that you will perform the requested tests, but that you do not consent to the tests. That evidence can be used later in court to suppress the results of the tests.

Chemical tests are also subjective in nature as false positive results can result due to the affects of medications or other situations. You always have the right to contact an attorney before you submit to any test.

For a number of years, law enforcement officers in Arizona have been able to secure search warrants for blood draws simply by placing telephone calls to on-call judicial officers. Law enforcement officers may use a script which helps them describe any probable cause they have developed in support of a search warrant. A after receiving a verbal judicial order approving a search warrant a written version of the warrant is submitted for the signature of the judge within a prescribed period of time. The Phoenix Police Department has also developed an eSearch Warrant Application, which allows officers to submit their search warrant request directly to a judge from the computer terminal in their vehicle. The search warrant request can be approved or rejected using a laptop from the bench during court proceedings.

Once a search warrant authorizing a blood draw for BAC testing is approved the procedure my be conducted at a medical facility or it may be conducted by law enforcement officers who have been trained as phlebotomists. In 1995, a pair of Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) sergeants/paramedics were certified as phlebotomists for these purposes. The Phoenix Community College Phlebotomy Program is a 40‐hour course that specifically trains law enforcement officers. By the mid-2000s, over 100 law enforcement officers had been trained as phlebotomists for DPS and more than 400 officers representing municipal and county agencies statewide had also been trained.

It is important that your DUI legal situation should be handled by expert professionals with the experience possessed by the attorneys at the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C.