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Driving Under the Influence in Arizona

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Arizona DUI Breath or Blood Test

A breath or blood test will be administered. A common question that I am asked is, “What if I refuse?” Refusing either test is a bad idea. Unlike the Field Sobriety Tests which are administered prior to the time a subject is placed under arrest, there IS an Arizona requirement that everybody who gets behind the wheel of a car must submit to a blood, breath or urine test to determine alcohol and/or drug impairment. Which test is administered is left to the discretion of the arresting officer. While I would probably refuse FSTs, I would not refuse the alcohol test for at least three reasons.

  • First, a refusal will result in an automatic 12-month suspension of your driver’s license regardless of whether or not you ultimately win your DUI case.
  • Second, prosecutors are allowed to argue to a jury that your refusal is strong evidence that you had something to hide, and thus, the refusal is strong evidence of your guilt.
  • Third, and perhaps most importantly, the officers routinely (although not 100%, in my experience) will get a telephonic search warrant signed off by a judge. At that point, they can forcibly take your blood. So, in the end, your refusal will most likely be ineffectual anyway -- they will test you, involuntarily, if they choose to do so.

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