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Arizona expanding electronic search warrant system for suspected DUI

A significant change to Arizona law enforcement is on its way in just a few days. Police officers across the state will a nearly instantaneous means of obtaining search warrants that can be used in suspected drunk driving cases to require drivers to undergo blood tests.

The Arizona Supreme Court says that the Governor's Office of Highway Safety teamed up with Maricopa County Superior Court and 24 Valley police departments to fund development of an online electronic warrant system. The court has authorized statewide use of the electronic search warrants for patrolling police officers to check sobriety and obtain evidence starting August 1.

It should be noted that officers still must have probable cause in order to make an arrest. Probable cause must be based on factual evidence that would make a reasonable person believe a crime has been committed, will be committed or is being committed.

According to the court, requests for electronic search warrants and the warrants themselves will be exchanged between police officers statewide and the Maricopa County Superior Court. Once an officer has a warrant, he or she will able to get blood or breath samples to help them investigate possible cases of DUI and vehicle-related events such as homicides, assaults or endangerment.

It should be noted that though more police officers will soon have 24/7 access to electronic warrants, those who arrested for DUI have 24/7 rights to speak to an attorney. You can shut down police questioning by clearly stating that you want to talk to your lawyer.

Remember to talk to your attorney before discussing your arrest or any evidence with police or prosecutors.

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