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Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Arizona
Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Arizona

While nobody wants to deal with getting pulled over by the police, it is helpful to think about what you should do if such a thing happens. One thing you might be wondering is if you are legally required to take a breathalyzer test. Arizona law has several harsh penalties put into place to try and curb the existence of DUI offenses. These serve not only to aggravate existing charges but may also confuse the accused defendant.

Arizona has a law known as “implied consent,” meaning that by driving on roadways in the State of Arizona a driver agrees that if he or she is arrested for a DUI-related offense, the driver will submit to a test of his or her breath, blood, urine, or other bodily substances to determine the levels of alcohol or other drugs in the driver’s system. Consequently, your right to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer is different depending on whether you are under arrest.

In most cases, drivers who refuse to submit to a hand-held breath test administered roadside in Arizona prior to arrest will probably avoid any real consequences. However, those who refuse to blow into a mechanism referred to as an evidential breath testing device will likely face strict penalties. In most cases, the police will not ask you to submit to a breathalyzer until after you are placed under arrest.

If you refuse to take the test after you have been arrested, the officer will demand that you submit your license. You will, however, get a temporary driving permit that is good for fifteen days. Afterward, the officer must make a sworn report explaining that he or she had reasonable grounds to believe that you were driving under the influence, that you refused to take the test, and that he or she warned you of the consequences of refusal.

You have the right to challenge the suspension on any of four grounds by claiming that:
– Law enforcement officers did not have reasonable grounds to suspect you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
– Law enforcement officers did not place you under arrest;
– You did not refuse to submit to the test; and/or
– You were not informed of the consequences of refusing to submit to the test.

If you refuse the breath test prior to arrest, it’s almost guaranteed that the police will quickly get a warrant to test your blood or urine for alcohol. Then not only will you have lost your license, but you’ll still have to have your blood alcohol content (BAC) tested. If an officer asks you to agree to a BAC test after an arrest, it generally means you’ve already been arrested or there’s enough evidence to put you in cuffs.

Drivers who refuse a breath test may come out ahead in the short term, but they will likely face many more problems in the long run than if they just agreed. Contact an experienced DUI attorney from the DUI Defense Team and let us put our resources to work for you. Call us at 520-222-2222.

2929 E. Broadway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ. 85716