Within Arizona, DUIs are some of the most common crimes committed by individuals. Even though these are common charges, they can have serious consequences for your future and your ability to drive. Knowing your rights and acting swiftly to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney can be crucial for your case when dealing with Arizona DUI charges.

If you are pulled over by the authorities, you may be asked to submit to roadside sobriety tests. These tests could include a portable Breathalyzer. These handheld machines are not subjected to the same quality assurance programs that most other breath testing devices must pass.  As a result, the results from portable breath test devices are not admissible in court as evidence of blood alcohol level.  However, portable breath test devices can be used as evidence that alcohol is present in your system.  As a result, you are within your rights to choose to refuse to participate in a portable breath test.  You can also refuse to participate in the other roadside sobriety tests.  Your refusal to participate can be used against you in that a judge or jury could be told of your refusal but the evidence from the tests cannot be used against you if you do not perform the tests.  Most of the roadside sobriety tests are only about 50-60% accurate at determining alcohol impairment.

If the officer as probable cause to suspect you of being impaired, you will most likely be further detained so the officer can complete the DUI investigation.  The officer will want to measure your blood alcohol content.   Typically this test is accomplished by drawing a blood sample that will be tested later or by having you submit to a breath alcohol test on a certified testing device.  This type of breath test is usually admissible in court if the correct procedures and protocols have been followed.

Regardless of the results of your breath test, an officer can still arrest you on suspicion of driving under the influence if your other behavior indicates you are too impaired to drive. This is why it’s so important to call a an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest while the details of the incident are still fresh in your mind. The facts of the pullover and the arrest can have important implications for your defense.

One of the most common questions that people have about being pulled over for DUI in Arizona is whether it’s a good idea to refuse the blood or breath test.   Arizona Implied Consent law requires any driver to submit to a test or tests of their blood or breath if the officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that you were driving while impaired.  If you refuse to submit to this test, you will automatically have your license suspended.   You license cannot be suspended for refusing to submit to the portable breath test or to perform the other roadside sobriety tests.

Many people are under the impression that it’s in their best interests to refuse a breath test because it keeps evidence out of the hands of the authorities.  Very rarely does the refusal to take the breath or blood test actually prevent the police from obtaining you blood alcohol anyway.  Local law enforcement agencies have had procedures in place for many years to obtain a telephonic warrant to forcibly draw your blood if you refuse to submit to the requested test.  A form is faxed to a judge, even in the middle of the night, and if the requirements have been met, the judge will authorize the police to draw your blood, by force if needed.  If, however, you refused a breath or blood test because you felt that the arresting officer did not have reason to test you, you need to contact an attorney immediately. You have a brief window of 15 days to request a MVD hearing to challenge the license suspension. To find out if this is appropriate in your case, contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Garrett L. Smith immediately.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Mesa Criminal Attorney, Garrett L. Smith at 480-540-6021 log on to www.mycriminaldefenselawyeraz.com, or contact an attorney in your area.