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Let’s say you’re driving down any of the number of highways in Tempe, AZ, heading home after a long night at work or with friends. Suddenly there’s flashing lights in your rearview mirror. You pull over and the police car pulls up right behind you. Whether you were drinking or not before you stepped behind the wheel, the officer says you’ve been driving erratically. You find yourself arrested for DUI, and in accordance with Arizona law, the officer asks that you submit to a chemical test for your BAC (blood alcohol content) level. At this point, you have a decision to make as an Arizona citizen. You can take the test, but it is also well within your rights to refuse the tests as well. Let’s take a closer look at what this entails.
The first thing to understand are the types of chemical tests that are used in determining BAC. The arresting officer will determine which test you will take and it’s generally one of three choices – blood, breath, or urine tests.
Blood tests can be taken at a hospital or police station, but are one of the more expensive and inconvenient tests to administer. However, blood tests are the most accurate in determining BAC if the officer requests it.
A breathalyzer test is a device that the driver breathes into. Typically, the concentration of alcohol in your bloodstream is reflected in your breath as the blood moves through your lungs. Breathalyzers test this concentration to tell if you have recently been consuming alcohol.
The last test is a urine test, which has been found to be the least accurate on occasion. DUI experts have found the test disfavorable, as the amounts of alcohol could be inaccurate depending on when it was consumed or what was consumed with it.
If you have been arrested for DUI, it’s important to understand that you have a right to refuse any of the chemical tests described above. It’s known as implied consent and as a result you may have your license suspended, and will be eligible for a hearing at a later date to have the suspension lifted. We firmly advise that you give us a call (480-897-8737) before deciding to take the test, as some circumstances can include the officer obtaining a telephonic search warrant from a judge and forcing you to submit to a chemical test, even after you refuse. Another point that many citizens may not know is that you can refuse the breathalyzer test in the field as well.
In Arizona, the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test can be less harsh than a DUI conviction, in terms of jail time and fines. Your license will be suspended and you will be given a temporary permit for a certain number of days. A hearing at a later date will determine if your suspension can be lifted. Refusing the test does not guarantee that you won’t be convicted, but will allow our experienced DUI lawyers to assess your case and build a defense.
We understand how the results of a DUI conviction can affect the well-being of a person’s life. It can affect your family, your occupation, and even how others treat you. At Weingart Law Firm, our DUI attorneys well-versed in the strict DUI laws of Tempe, AZ as well as citizen’s rights. You are within your rights to refuse a chemical test if arrested for a DUI, and be sure to contact us on the chance that this happens to you.