Refusal to Submit to DUI Testing

Refusal to Submit to DUI Testing

You have a Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate yourself, which means, if pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you are entitled to deny prosecutors evidence they can use against you by refusing testing. However, since having an Arizona driver's license means you have implied consent to alcohol and drug testing, there are consequences to refusing.

DUI Testing Refusal in Maricopa County

If asked to take a DUI test, regardless of what you do, you're likely to face legal troubles. However, you can have experienced Tempe DUI defense lawyer James E. Novak on your side. James Novak is a former prosecutor who will fight for you to get as favorable a result as possible, whether seeking to keep your license in an administrative hearing or representing you against DUI charges. Call the Law Office of James E. Novak today at (480) 413-1499 for a free consultation to discuss your legal matters.

James Novak represents clients involved in DUI matters throughout the Tempe area, including Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix, Chandler, Scottsdale and the East Valley area.

Types of Tests in Arizona

If pulled over and suspected of driving while under the influence, there are several types of tests that the police officer may ask you to take: field sobriety tests, breath tests, blood tests and urine tests. The tests are designed to determine whether you are intoxicated. Having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than .08 means you are presumed intoxicated.

A field sobriety test is a test of your reactions and ability to function. Alcohol slows your reaction time throws off your balance and affects your cognitive ability, so police test those. Field sobriety tests may include saying the alphabet backwards, balancing on one foot or walking in a straight line.

A breath test tests alcohol content in a suspect's breath. Most police officers carry a breathalyzer with them. A breathalyzer analyzes breath for alcohol content, since blood absorbs alcohol then flows through the lungs.

A blood test tests the alcohol in the blood stream. While the most accurate test of blood alcohol content, there are still ways a sample may become contaminated.

A urine test is the least accurate test for alcohol content, but may be used to determine whether drugs are present in a suspect's system.

All the above tests have flaws and may be successfully challenged. However, there remains a strong chance that the results will be admitted and used against you, and tend to be strong evidence against a person against of DUI.

Test Refusal and Consequences in Maricopa County

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution gives a person in the United States the right to "not be compelled in a criminal case to be a witness against himself." This has been interpreted, generally, to mean that people accused of crimes have a right to refuse to incriminate themselves. If asked to take a DUI test, you are being asked to potentially participate in a criminal investigation of yourself.

You may, instead, refuse and say you will say nothing further without the advice of an attorney. It is likely you will be arrested, anyway. Police may attempt to obtain a warrant from a judge, which may allow them to test you, but you may have also denied the prosecution critical evidence against you.

However, there are consequences to refusal. By obtaining an Arizona driver's license, you have implied consent to testing for drugs and alcohol while driving. Therefore, by refusing a DUI test, the state may enforce a civil penalty against you by suspending your driver's license. For the first refusal, your license could be suspended for up to a year. For a subsequent refusal within 84 months (7 years), it may be suspended for two years.

However, if your license is suspended, you have 15 days after receiving notice to submit a written request for a hearing to the Arizona Department of Transportation. The department will schedule a hearing within 30 days. Until the hearing, the license suspension is put on hold. At the hearing, a Tempe DUI defense lawyer can represent you and argue why your license should not be suspended.

Law Office of James E. Novak | Refusal to Submit to a DUI Breath Test in Maricopa County

If you refused a DUI test or failed one, you face legal consequences. Don't face them alone. Tempe drunk driving lawyer James Novak can represent you in court, at a administrative hearing or any other legal proceeding resulting from a DUI stop. He represents clients throughout Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, and Phoenix. Contact the Law Office of James E. Novak today at (480) 413-1499 for a free consultation.

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