On the roads of Arizona, if you are pulled over by police or if you are involved in an accident, there is a chance that you will be investigated for drunk driving. When officers perform these investigations, there are certain procedures they must follow, so it helps to know your rights. One thing they might ask you to do is submit to a Breathalyzer test. However, you are not obliged to do so, although refusal does lead to license suspension.
A Boston trooper recently experienced this firsthand after crashing his car while off-duty one night. His passenger was critically injured in the incident and is being treated at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The trooper, who had his injuries attended to at Lawrence General Hospital, is said to have refused blood and urine tests. When he arrived at North Andover police station, he further declined a breath test.
Many drivers worry that the results of such tests could be needlessly incriminating. The devices used are not always accurate and the readings they provide can be used as evidence. The 35-year-old trooper has received a 180-day license suspension. However, he may be able to contest this, or to receive a hardship license enabling him to drive to work. He has further been ordered to renounce his firearms and to stop drinking.
Although this trooper resides in another state, his plight could just as easily befall a driver in Arizona. Choosing whether to submit to a breath test can have an effect on the outcome of an investigation against you. Whatever your decision, however, charges against you can be appealed, especially if the officers involved did not correctly follow procedure. An attorney may be able to help you evaluate your case and build a defense, to protect your reputation and your license.
Source: Boston Herald, “DOT: Trooper charged in OUI refused breath test,” May 7, 2014