The Consequences Of Refusing a Field Sobriety Test In Arizona
Drivers sometimes wonder whether they can refuse a field sobriety test if they are pulled over by a police officer under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Arizona has an implied consent law, which means that when a person receives their driver’s license, they agree to certain conditions, which include following all traffic laws and agreeing to submit to a breathalyzer test if they are asked to do so by a police officer. This means that police officers do not need a warrant to issue a field sobriety test to a driver.
Although drivers are notified of these conditions and agreements when they receive their driver’s license, many drivers still don’t realize that this law exists. Then, when they are pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence, they may try to refuse the breathalyzer test in hopes of evading detection by the police officer, or for other reasons.
Because of Arizona’s informed consent law, refusing to take a breathalyzer can have consequences. It’s important to realize that refusing this test will not prevent a DUI conviction. An expert Chandler DUI lawyer weighs in on what you need to know about refusing a field sobriety test.
Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer?
Many Arizona residents don’t realize that there are immediate consequences that will result from refusing to take a field sobriety test when pulled over by a police officer. In accordance with Arizona state law, the officer has the authority to take away your driver’s license on the scene and suspend your driving privileges for one year. If you have refused a field sobriety test in the past, your driving privileges will be suspended even longer. If this situation is your second refusal in seven years, your license will be suspended for two years. If this is your third refusal within seven years, you can expect your license to be suspended another two years. This can be a significant obstacle for people who rely on driving to work or school.
Often, people decide to cooperate with the field sobriety test after the police office takes their license and informs them of the consequences. However, even if you agree at that point to take the field sobriety test, the suspension will still stand. You’ll have to work with an Gilbert DUI firm to try to regain your driving privileges.
After your refusal and suspension, the police officer will give you a temporary driving permit that reinstates your privileges for 15 days, which will give you time to work with your attorney to challenge the suspension. In many cases, you’ll be able to regain your driving privileges but you will need to agree to install an ignition interlock on your vehicle. This system is expensive to install and maintain, adding up to hundreds of dollars and becoming a significant financial burden for many people.
How Can I Get DUI Charges Without a Breathalyzer Test?
Even without a field sobriety test, there are still many ways that a prosecutor can build a DUI case against you, so your Scottsdale DUI attorney will need to build a strong defense in your favor. The prosecution can use many types of evidence to prove that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving, which may include:
- Testimony of erratic driving behavior
- Erratic driving behaviors that led to an accident
- Other signs of intoxication such as watery eyes, slurred speech, inability to walk properly, or the small of alcohol on your breath
- An open container of alcohol in the vehicle
- Your own admission of alcohol consumption
If you have been charged with a DUI or refused a breathalyzer test, it’s crucial to work with an experienced Queen Creek DUI lawyer who can help you explore your legal options, cast doubt on the case against you, find a way to have the case thrown out, reduce your penalties, reinstate your driving privileges, or prove your innocence, depending on the circumstances of your specific case.
Contact a DUI Attorney In Arizona
Depending on the situation, your lawyer may even be able to challenge the license suspension that you were given when you refused the field sobriety test. Regardless of the outcome of your case, your attorney will work to protect your rights and help you get your full driving privileges back as quickly as legally possible. The consequences of a DUI conviction will follow you for years, so it’s important to work with your attorney to avoid or reduce a DUI conviction.
This article is courtesy of My AZ Criminal Defense Attorneys, a leading Arizona criminal defense firm specializing in DUI defense and drug crime charges. They provide expert representation with successful results.
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