DUI Implied Consent Law

What is the Implied Consent Law in Arizona? Have you consulted a DUI attorney regarding implied consent?

When you are pulled over because an officer has probable cause to believe that you are driving impaired you will usually be put through some kind of field sobriety test. These tests are typically in the form of a blood, breath, or urine test. There are also skill tests designed to determine whether or not you are intoxicated. These include a one leg stand where you raise your foot and tip your head back slightly, a horizontal gaze nystagmus where the officer will move a penlight past your eyes to determine certain movements, a test where you walk a straight line, and more.

What is the implied consent law?

You are probably familiar with implied consent laws when it comes to producing your driver’s license and insurance if you are pulled over by a police officer. When you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Arizona you are required to take the blood, breath, or urine test as long as the officer has reasonable grounds to believe you were driving under the influence.1 These field sobriety tests can occur even if you are not driving the car but are in actual physical control of the vehicle. If you operate a motor vehicle in Arizona you give consent to be tested through the blood, breath, or urine tests to determine whether you are driving impaired or not. A.R.S. § 28-1381. You also can be required to perform the other field sobriety tests on request. You are subject to the laws of the state where you are arrested, not the state where you received your driver’s license.2

If you refuse to take the tests then the officer can ask you to surrender your license and will file a report so your license will be suspended for at least one year (12 months) if this is your first offense.3 If this is your second or third offense then your license will be suspended for two or three years, respectively.4 Penalties can be even more severe if you fail a standardized field sobriety test such as the one-leg stand and then refuse to take a blood, urine, or breath test.5

Are there any ways to get around the implied consent laws?

There is no way to get around the implied consent law, but there are some defenses to the results of your field sobriety tests. A lot depends on the circumstances of your arrest and how your tests were administered. Although some defense lawyers have argued that implied consent laws violate the constitutional guarantee against involuntary searches and seizures, the courts have ruled that implied consent laws are legal.6 Your criminal defense attorney can help you attempt to remove any penalties that you may have incurred based on a refusal to take a field sobriety tests.

[1] Teresa Wall-Cyb, Arizona DUI: Refusal to Take a Blood, Breath or Urine Test, dui.drivinglaws.org, http://dui.drivinglaws.org/resources/dui-refusal-blood-breath-urine-test/arizona.htm (last visited Dec. 2, 2014).

2 What Is Implied Consent?, impliedconsent.org, http://www.impliedconsent.org/whatisimpliedconsent.html (last visited Dec. 2, 2014).

3 Teresa Wall-Cyb, supra note 1.

4 Id.

5 Implied Consent Laws, impliedconsent.org, http://www.impliedconsent.org/impliedconsentlaws.html (last visited Dec. 3, 2014).

6 What Is Implied Consent, suzukilawoffices.com, http://www.suzukilawoffices.com/Criminal-Defense/DUI/Implied-Consent.aspx (last visited Dec. 3, 2014).