If you are involved in an accident in Arizona, or you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, this could be the beginning of a long investigation process. The chances are that you will be asked to submit to a number of tests. This can include participating in field sobriety tests and may also involve being asked to blow into a Breathalyzer.

Unfortunately, if you fail the field sobriety tests or the Breathalyzer reads that your blood alcohol concentration is equal to or above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, you may be charged with drunk driving. This can have a varying impact on your life, depending on the severity of the charge and whether you have any prior convictions. You might simply be fined and have your license suspended for a short period. You could also be required to have an ignition interlock device fitted in your vehicle.

However, if it is a more serious offense, or you have previously been convicted of drunk driving, you might lose your license for far longer, face much heavier fines and even be sent to prison. In this case, if you suspect you are over the legal limit you might choose to refuse the breath test. This will still generally result in your license being suspended, but this may be preferable to the other penalties you could face.

However, as this article on breath tests explains, some states enforce no-refusal initiatives which can enable officers to procure a warrant for a suspect’s BAC test. Refusing in this instance can lead to contempt charges and may also result in officers carrying out a forced blood draw.

If you have been charged with drunk driving, it can be hard to know where to turn or how to begin building your defense. Fortunately, an attorney may be able to help you. He or she can evaluate the circumstances of your arrest and may be able to support you through the rest of the investigation.