Many Arizona drivers who think they are maliciously pulled over while driving may believe that they can refuse to submit to a breath test, or Breathalyzer. And, they are right. Authorities can't force drivers to submit to a breath test without a warrant.
However, it's important for drivers to understand that there may be severe repercussions for those who refuse to submit to a breath test if pulled over or arrested for suspected DUI in Arizona.
Roadside vs evidentiary breath tests
In most cases, drivers who refuse to submit to a hand-held breath test administered roadside in Arizona will probably skirt any real consequences. However, those who refuse to blow into a mechanism referred to as an evidentiary breath testing device-an apparatus that is blueish/gray color and has a long hose-will likely face strict penalties.
Understanding "implied consent" in Arizona
In the state of Arizona, and many other states, all drivers have essentially given "implied consent" to submit to either a breath, blood or urine test. This is because it's a condition to getting a driver's license.
Upon getting a driver's license, all drivers have essentially given consent (via their signature on their drivers' license form) to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test if pulled over and asked by an officer who has reasonable grounds to believe they were under the influence of liquor or drugs.
So, drivers that are asked and refuse to take a breath test are in violation of the "implied consent" agreement they signed at the DMV. As a result, they face serious penalties.
Penalties for refusing a breath test in Arizona
An immediate penalty for drivers, who refuse to take a breath test for the first time, is a 12 month drivers' license suspension-a huge hindrance for those who heavily rely on their vehicles to get to work or school.
The law allows drivers to request their license back after 90 days, but only if they get an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicles for the remainder of the 12 month revocation period. Getting an IID may seem simple enough, but the costs associated are steep.
Drivers are responsible for not only the cost to install the device, they must also pay the monthly maintenance fees associated. This can add up to hundreds of dollars over the penalty period.
Drivers who have refused to submit to other breath tests within the past 7 years will face a drivers' license suspension for 2 years.
Consulting with an attorney
Drivers who refuse a breath test may come out ahead in the short term, but they will likely face many more problems in the long run than if they just submitted.
One Arizona DUI lawyer says that the best advice is immediately request to speak to an attorney. Often times, even drivers who haven't had a drop to drink or believe they have done nothing wrong, submitting to a breath test. However, there are so many factors involved that consulting with an attorney prior to consenting is generally advised.
To reach an attorney 24/7 call 480.248.7666. A DUI lawyer can use the knowledge of the law and procedure to access the situation.