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Do I Have to Take a DUI Test in Phoenix?

What Implied Consent Law Means for Arizona Drivers

Under this "implied consent", every driver is said to have given his or her consent to take a breath, blood, or urine test if they are ever lawfully arrested on suspicion of a DUI. These tests, which are meant to reveal to your blood alcohol content (BAC), have to be administered no later than 2 hours after you have driven. You do not get to choose which test you take. What happens if you refuse to take a DUI test? Implied consent law says that if you refuse a chemical DUI test, an officer can:

  • Arrest you
  • Charge you with a DUI
  • Take away your driver's license

The officer will give you a driving permit that expires in 15 days, and then you will have your license suspended for 1 year—if this is the first time you have refused a DUI test. After the first 90 days of suspension, however, you may be able to ask for a restricted license, one that involves installing an ignition interlock device. If have refused a DUI test at least once before within the last seven years, then you could lose your driver's license for two years.

If you have lost your license because of a test refusal, this means that you have 15 days to save your license. You have this much time to ask for a hearing. At the DMV hearing, you or your lawyer can argue that the arrest was not lawful, that you actually did not refuse the test, or that the officer failed to warn you what the consequences of refusal would be. It is possible for you to regain your license if you can make your case at the hearing. With so much riding on your license, such as your job or job prospects, it is vital that you talk with an experienced DUI lawyer in Phoenix in order to learn how you could save your driving privileges.

Is it ever a good idea to refuse a DUI test in Phoenix?

There is almost no point to refusing a breath or blood test. While you do not face jail time for a test refusal, the refusal is not helping your DUI case out. You could still be convicted of driving under the influence, even without chemical tests to back it up. The prosecutor could still argue that you were impaired because of other actions you took and other things the officer observed. In fact, your refusal could be used as strong evidence of guilt. Most defendants stand a far better chance of fighting their DUI charge by discrediting a failed DUI test than by refusing the test.

Can I refuse to take a field sobriety test in Phoenix?

While chemical DUI tests are mandatory, a field sobriety test is voluntary. There are no legal repercussions for refusing these tests, and these tests can produce unreliable results. These types of tests include:

  • One-leg stands
  • Eye tests
  • Walk and turns
  • Finger-to-nose, and so on

Whatever choices you made regarding a DUI test, whatever the results, if you have been charged with a DUI in Arizona, you are looking at severe, life-altering penalties. It is in your best interests to find a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix as soon as possible. Better yet, you can find a criminal lawyer who once worked as a prosecutor, someone who has a thorough experience of the criminal trial and utilizes this experience to get charges reduced or dismissed. Get your free consultation with an experienced Phoenix criminal lawyer when you contact the Law Offices of Joshua S. Davidson, PLC today!