DUI Test Refusal
The law in the state of Arizona makes it a requirement that drivers submit to a blood, breath or urine test if they are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI).
In Tempe, Phoenix or other communities in Maricopa County, it is important that you consult experienced Arizona DUI lawyers like those associated with the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C. Those attorneys will tell you that Arizona’s implied consent statute makes it a requirement that if you are arrested by a law enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe that you are DUI, then you are required to submit to a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine for the purpose of determining the level of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The chemical test must be administered within two hours of the time that you were DUI. The law enforcement officer who arrests you is allowed to choose which test you are required to submit to.
It is also possible that you could be required to submit to the tests even if you were a passenger in the vehicle and were not driving. If you have actual, physical control of the vehicle while under the influence, then that can provide an officer with probable cause to arrest you and require that you take the test. Generally, actual, physical control means that the motor in the vehicle is turned on and you have the ability make it move.
If you are arrested for DUI and you refuse to submit to the test, then the law enforcement officer will confiscate your driver’s license. You will, however, get a temporary driving permit that is good for 15 days. Afterwards, the officer must make a sworn report with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) explaining the probable cause that you were DUI, that you refused to submit to the test and that you were advised of the consequences that will result in the suspension of your driver’s license or driving permit for at least 12 months if this arrest and refusal is a first offense.
If you reconsider your decision to refuse to submit to the test you will not face any consequences due to your initial decision to refuse, but you need to inform the officer that you are now willing to submit to the test. The statute makes it clear that failure to expressly agree to or complete the test will be considered to be a refusal.
If this situation was your first refusal, the suspension period will last one year. After the successful completion of 90 consecutive days of your suspension, you are allowed to request a special license that requires the use of an ignition interlock device (IID). If approved, you would keep the IID for the remainder of the suspension period. If this is the second time you have refused within the last seven years, the suspension period will last two years.
The state is required to notify you about the suspension of your driver’s license and provide you with forms that can be used to challenge the suspension by requesting a hearing, in writing or online, within 15 days of the date that the notice was issued. When a hearing is conducted, you are allowed to discuss the circumstances of the arrest, whether the arresting officer had probable cause to believe you were DUI, your reasons for your refusal to submit to the test and whether or not you were aware of the consequences that would result from a refusal. The end result of the hearing will be that the suspension of your license will either be confirmed or rescinded.
In most situations, if you refuse to submit to a mandatory blood, breath or urine test, you cannot be forced to do so unless the investigating officer obtains a search warrant from a judge. However, the state may administer the test if you are unconscious or dead.
Refusing to submit to a blood, breath or urine test does not guarantee that you will not be convicted of the DUI charges that you are facing. A conviction can still take place even if your refusal means that the state does not have proof that your BAC was over 0.08 percent. It is possible that the prosecution can use your refusal to argue that you refused to submit to the test because you were aware that you were intoxicated and guilty of DUI.
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. Our office offers free consultations for all DUI and criminal matters. Our Arizona DUI attorneys and Arizona criminal lawyers can provide you with the experience and knowledge needed for qualified representation. An experienced Arizona DUI lawyer is vital in DUI cases and our DUI attorneys set that standard. If you’re in need of a criminal defense, our Arizona criminal attorneys are ready to assist you.