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Implied Consent Law Is Not a Free Pass for Police

Posted on December 16, 2020 in DUI

Like other states, Arizona has what is commonly called an implied consent law.

As the name of the law suggests, drivers in this state have, just by driving on the roads of this state, agree to take a breath, blood, or urine test on a valid request of a law enforcement officer.

If they do not agree to take the test when asked, then a driver may face an automatic license suspension of 1 year for a first offense, even if they wind up not getting convicted of drunk or drugged driving.

On the other hand, a test result showing at least .08 blood alcohol content or drugs in the driver’s system may be used against the driver in a criminal DUI case. The law also imposes a separate automatic license suspension of 30 days.

Police Must Have Reasonable Legal Grounds to Ask for a Certified Test

Police cannot just pull over a driver and ask for a certified test for no reason at all.

They must have some reasons to believe that the driver was operating while drunk or drugged. For example, an officer may report that they saw a motorist swerve in and out of a lane, and; after the officer pulled the driver over, the officer noticed a smell of alcohol or other signs of drunkenness.

Likewise, so long as it is set up in accord with the law, an officer also may ask for a test if he or she notices suspicious behavior at a sobriety checkpoint.

It is a rare day when police will outright admit that they did not have a good reason to ask for a test, but sometimes, after a thorough and independent investigation, it may become clear that law enforcement had no valid legal reason to detain a motorist or invoke Arizona’s implied consent law. In such cases, a dismissal of charges is possible. Learn more by speaking with a qualified Scottsdale DUI attorney.

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