A look at implied consent in Arizona

When you drive a car in Arizona, it is wise to know your rights and obligations under state law. The Arizona Supreme Court has in recent days made it clear that the moment you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you are giving consent to being tested by law enforcement officers for driving under the influence.

In one case decided by the court, a woman who was arrested two years ago and was charged with drunk driving. She was read her Miranda rights and agreed to take a breath test to determine the level of alcohol in her system.

In court, she made an interesting argument, saying that because she would have lost her driver’s license if she had not agreed to the breath test, her agreement was involuntary and was therefore not really consent.

The justices decided against her, however, ruling that state law on implied consent gives an officer authority to get a sample of breath or blood from a driver.

The court also heard the case of a man who had also been read his rights and had agreed to a blood test after his DUI arrest. Like the woman, he argued in court that his consent had not been voluntary because the officer had told him that his driver’s license would be suspended if he refused the test. He argued that his constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure had been violated. Once again, the court rejected the argument and sided with law enforcement.

Whether you agreed to or declined a breath or blood test, you must protect your rights and driving privileges from this point onward. Discuss your legal options with an attorney experienced in DUI defense.