Can a Police Officer Get a Warrant after You Refuse a Blood Test in Arizona?
When police officers pull you over and they have enough evidence to suspect driving under the influence, you’ll be asked to do a blood alcohol test. While you may refuse providing a blood sample, the consequences of this decision will be serious (license suspension). In addition, you will eventually have to provide a sample. In order to make you submit to a blood test, law enforcement professionals in Arizona may apply for a warrant after you refuse a blood test. Here’s how it’s going to work and what you could expect under the circumstances.
Blood Alcohol Test Warrant Regulations
A police officer will let you know that if you refuse submitting to the BAC test, you will have to deal with the consequences – license suspension for a period of one year. If you still do not provide consent, the law enforcement professional will undertake the steps necessary to obtain a blood draw warrant.
Depending on the circumstances, a warrant can be provided in as little as 10 minutes. Whenever police officers get a warrant for a blood draw to be performed, the suspect will no longer have the legal right to refuse.
In some instances, suspects have been known to attempt fighting police officers and still refusing the blood draw. This isn’t the best approach under the circumstances. If they have to, law enforcement professionals may resort to restraining the suspect and still getting the test performed.
The Emergency Exemption
Getting a telephonic warrant for a DUI blood draw is needed due to the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution. It provides protection against warrantless searches but in few situations an exception may apply.
This emergency exception makes it possible for police officers to get the blood of the suspect drawn for a DUI test without explicit consent and without getting a warrant.
A warrantless forced blood draw is legal whenever exigent circumstances exist. This means that waiting for a warrant to be obtained could potentially lead to altered or inaccurate test results.
The definition of exigent circumstances is relatively vague and it will very often be left to the interpretation of court. In several instances, the court has ruled out that the natural dissipation of alcohol in the body does not classify as an exigent circumstance that will make a warrantless blood draw legal.
As you can see, exigent circumstances can be incredibly difficult to prove. In most instances, law enforcement professionals cannot justify a forced blood draw without a warrant. If such a BAC test does occur, it could be challenged in court and the evidence may potentially be dismissed.
Refusing a Blood Draw Isn’t in Your Best Interest
Turning down the BAC test is typically not in your best interest.
Whether you have or you have not consumed alcohol/used drugs, chances are that the BAC test will eventually be forced upon you after the police officer obtains a telephonic warrant after you refuse a blood test. Regardless of what the results are, you will still have to deal with the year-long license suspension that is the direct consequence of your refusal.
If you are asked to participate in a BAC test, you have the right to speak to a DUI attorney before giving the law enforcement professional your consent or rejection. This is the best approach when you’re feeling confused and uncertain.
Even if you have refused to do the test, there is still hope. Once you get in touch with an attorney, they will do their best to counter the effect of your refusal. A good lawyer may still be capable of countering the automatic license suspension that stems from the refusal, so don’t hesitate to seek the right legal representation.