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In recent news, the Arizona Supreme Court announced a ruling saying that drivers suspected of driving under the influence have the legal right to refuse to submit to an alcohol test. According to their ruling, an officer demanding that a suspect must submit to a test violates the Fourth Amendment that protects against search and seizures without a warrant. Join us at The Weingart Firm as we take a closer look at what this means for victims of DUI charges or for those who may be pulled over for suspected DUI in the future.
First off, let’s take a quick review at what types of alcohol tests there are. Remember these are different from field sobriety tests: a field sobriety test is meant to determine your level of impairment or motor function, whereas a blood alcohol test reveals how much is in your system.
Prior to this announcement from the Arizona Supreme Court, the wording that most officers used during a routine stop would compel a suspect to take an alcohol test. In other words, the suspect would be made to think that these tests were mandatory. With this announcement from the Arizona Supreme Court, officers are no longer allowed to use language that indicates that it’s illegal to refuse.
Instead, if a suspect refuses an alcohol test, the officer must inform the suspect about the consequences of refusal. These are generally non-criminal consequences such as losing their driver’s license for a year or longer. However, this does not mean that suspects can automatically drop charges or overturn convictions in DUI. The charge of a DUI will be left up to the officer and the courts, but understand that during your first contact, you do have the right to refuse an alcohol test.
Have you been involved in a case where you were forced or compelled to take an alcohol test during a suspected DUI stop? If you took a blood test, was it administered in a police station? If you answered yes to either of these questions, contact The Weingart Law Firm immediately for a case evaluation consultation. We’ll review the details of your case and enforce your rights. Don’t hesitate to contact us today.