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Refusal to Give a Blood, Breath or Urine Sample in a DUI

Posted on October 24, 2010 in BAC

What happens if I don’t want to give blood, breath, or urine to an Arizona police officer during a DUI investigation? Well, in Arizona, by getting an Arizona driver’s license, or even by driving on our streets, you have given your consent to submit to a police officer’s request for a blood, breath or urine sample. Ask any experienced DUIdefense attorney how many low BACs (from .000 to .05) they see in the lists of the state’s blood test results, and you’ll understand how many people are being forced to give a sample of their blood to police officers every day in Arizona. And there are consequences if you refuse to submit a sample.

If you refuse to give a sample of your blood, breath and/or urine in the course of a DUI investigation, Arizona’s policy is to suspend your driver’s license for a period of one (1) year. And, if you’ve already refused to provide a sample of blood, breath or urine once before, then your license will be suspended for two (2) years. Further,even if you refuse to give a sample, Arizona has a sophisticated method of getting your blood (or breath or urine) anyway.

Specifically, if you refuse to comply, the requesting police officers will get a telephonic search warrant. That means that they will telephone an on-call judge, be sworn in, and say enough to establish the probable cause needed to get a search warrant to take the requested sample forcibly. For example, in a case where an officer wants a blood sample and youare refusing to give it, once the officer has the search warrant, they are going to draw your blood. If you forcibly refuse to give it to them, they will restrain you in a medieval-looking chair and take your blood (and, if they have to, they can Taser you or apply pain stimulus to get compliance). One way or another they will take your blood if you refuseto give it voluntarily.

I also believe that there are some police officers who will penalize individuals who refuse to give the requested sample by taking them into booking, even though that is not supposed to happen. Usually, DUI is a cite and release charge, which means you get called a cab or a friend to take you home after the investigation is complete. In contrast, if you arebooked, you can expect a 14-20 hour ordeal, which only ends when you see a judge and make bond.

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