Can You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in Arizona?
One of the most common questions Arizona DUI defense lawyers get asked is whether or not you can refuse to take a breathalyzer test. Some people figure it makes no sense to hand the police proof that you’re drunk. After all, you know how much you had to drink. If you even suspect you’re going to register a .08 or higher on the breathalyzer test, why would you voluntarily submit to one? You figure it makes more sense to take your chances in court.
What some people don’t realize is that Arizona, like so many other states, has an implied consent law. This means that when you get your driver’s license, you consent to certain things. One of these things is a breathalyzer test. In fact, legally, people who drive in Arizona give implied consent for all types of DUI tests. This includes a breathalyzer test, a blood test and a urine test.
The implied consent law does not mean you have to submit to the test. So, if you want, you can refuse the test. Just know that there are serious consequences if you do this. You should talk to an experienced Arizona DUI defense lawyer before you do that.
If You Refuse the Breathalyzer, Your Driver’s License Will Be Suspended
One of the problems with refusing to take a breathalyzer test is that there are consequences. If you refuse the test, your driver’s license is going to be automatically suspended. Depending on whether you have prior refusals, your suspension can be anywhere from one to two years. That’s an awfully long time to go without a driver‘s license.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re ultimately convicted of DUI. The minute you refuse the test, the cops will confiscate your license. They’ll notify the Motor Vehicle Division so they can suspend your license.
Your Arizona DUI Defense Lawyer Can Challenge the Legality of the Stop
One of the ways your Arizona DUI defense lawyer can help you is by getting your charges reduced or dismissed. They can argue that the cops had no right to stop you in the first place. Or they can demonstrate that the stop wasn’t handled properly. If they’re able to prove this, then evidence gathered during the stop will be deemed inadmissible. However, even if they can prove an unlawful stop, there’s no guarantee that your license will be restored. This type of suspension is considered an administrative suspension. You will have a chance to challenge the suspension at a special hearing. Your Arizona DUI defense lawyer can attend this hearing with you.
Contact an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer in Arizona
If you’re pulled over by the police, it’s always a good idea to comply with the officer’s requests. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should submit to a breathalyzer test. If you know for sure that you’re going to blow greater than a .08, you may want to refuse the test. As mentioned earlier, it’s never in your best interest to hand evidence over to the State. The best way to protect your rights is to call and talk to an experienced Arizona DUI defense lawyer. They know the law when it comes to the breathalyzer test. They can also work hard to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case. Call and speak with one as soon as possible after your arrest. This way, you can make sure your suspension appeal is filed within the fifteen (15) day time limit. There’s too much at stake to try to handle this sort of thing on your own.