When someone is pulled over on suspicion of Driving Under the Influence, the officer will ask them to take a chemical test, such as a blood, breath, or urine test. The officer can also ask the driver to take a field test. The question is, Should you take the chemical test? What happens if you refuse to take the chemical test or the field test?
Read on to understand the laws related to chemical testing and standard field testing in Arizona and the consequences of refusing these tests.
Implied Consent Law
According to Arizona’s “Implied Consent” law, which is defined under A.R.S. 28-1321, when someone is lawfully pulled over by an officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that the driver is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the driver is required to submit to a chemical test. The officer can request a blood, breath, or urine sample within two hours of driving, to determine the driver’s BAC.
Refusing to take the Chemical Test in Arizona
Refusing a chemical test in Arizona depends on the circumstances. For example, if the driver refuses to take the portable breath test before being arrested, that is different from refusing to take a chemical test after being arrested. If you refuse to take a chemical test in Arizona, you will have to face heavy penalties. These penalties can be harsher than those associated with actually being found guilty of driving under the influence.
Penalties for Refusing a Chemical Test in Arizona
Penalties for refusing a chemical test in Arizona after an arrest will carry a combination of the following penalties:
- Jail time
- Payment of fine
- Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
- Suspension of the driver’s license for at least 1 year
Refusing the test also does not guarantee that you won’t be convicted. Although the state may not have proof against you that your BAC was above 0.08%, you can still be found guilty of DUI.
Moreover, the prosecution can use the refusal against you alleging that you refused to take the tests because you knew you were intoxicated. That is why it is advised never to refuse to take a chemical test after you are arrested on suspicion of DUI in Arizona.
Standard Field Tests
In Arizona, the officer can administer any of the three standard field tests to determine the physical coordination of the driver. The standard field tests include:
- The Horizontal Gaze Test
- One-legged Stand Test
- Walk and Turn Test
These tests are administered as a prerequisite to further testing.
Refusing a Field Sobriety Test in Arizona
Unlike chemical testing, the general rule for refusing a Field Sobriety Test in Arizona has no legal penalty associated with it. However, the arresting officer can testify the refusal against you in court.
What Happens When You Refuse A Test?
If you are arrested and you refuse to take the test, the officer will ask you to surrender your license. He will also file a report which will result in the suspension of your driver’s license for at least 1 year for a first offense.
However, if during the stop, you change your mind, you need to tell the officer that you have decided to take the test. This will save you from the consequences of the refusal you made. Failing to expressly agree to taking and completing the test will also be treated as a refusal by the officer.
- Refusal to take the test on a first offense will lead to a 1 year suspension of your license
- Refusal to take the test on a second offense will lead to a 2 year suspension of your license
- Refusal to take the test on a third offense will lead to a 2 year suspension of your license
Get in touch with an experienced DUI defense attorney in Arizona if you are facing a DUI charge. Contact the Law Offices of Brian D. Sloan at 480-900-0384 for a Free Initial Consultation and discuss your case.