Driving Issues in Arizona DUI Cases
Your ability to drive may be directly tied to your ability to make a living. The laws and processes surrounding your privilege to drive in Arizona DUI cases are complex and contain many pitfalls.
It is common misconception that any person in the United States has a right to drive. There is no such right in the US Constitution.
Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege, and that privilege can be taken away or modified based on certain conduct, including several issues surrounding drunk driving cases.
We all have a Constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but not to drive. Once a person accused of impaired driving understands this, it is much easier to understand why many of the procedural and constitutional safeguards do not apply in regards to driving a motor vehicle following a DWI arrest in Arizona.
How do my driving privileges tie into a chemical test in an Arizona DUI?
Any person who drives a motor vehicle in Arizona gives consent to a test or tests of their blood, breath, urine or other bodily substances so law enforcement can determine alcohol concentration or drug content if the person is arrested for DUI.
Under Arizona Law, the Police Officer chooses the type of test, and administered at his/her direction, so long as the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle either:
While under the influence of alcohol or drugs; or
If the person is under age 21 with alcohol in the person’s body.
Following an arrest, the officer should request the subject to submit to and successfully complete any test mentioned above that the officer designates. If the subject refuses to submit to the test, or does not successfully complete the test, his/her license will be suspended for 12 months for a first refusal, or for 2 years for a second or subsequent refusal within a period of 60 months.
Any failure by the person arrested for DUI to expressly agree to the test, or to successfully complete the test is deemed a refusal.
Prior to the test, the suspect must be informed that if the test shows a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more if the arrest involved a personal vehicle, or 0.04 or more if a commercial vehicle was involved, the person’s license will be suspended for at least 90 consecutive days.
Any person who is dead, unconscious or otherwise incapable of refusing to submit to a test is deemed not to have withdrawn consent for the test, and a test can be administered (usually a blood test).
If You Refuse An Arizona DUI Chemical Test
If you exercise your ability to refuse under Arizona’s implied consent law, the following will happen:
- The test will not be given (unless the officer obtains a search warrant, in which case he/she can immobilize you and forcibly draw your blood);
- The officer will file a certified report with the department of motor vehicles;
- The officer will serve you with an order of suspension that is effective 15 days after the date the order is served;
- You will be required to immediately surrender your license or permit if it is in your control (if it is an Arizona license);
- If your license is surrendered, the officer will issue a temporary permit that is good for 15 days;
When the Arizona MVD receives the certified report from the officer, the department will enter the suspension into its records on the effective date unless a written request for a hearing is made by you.