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Can I Refuse to Submit to Field Sobriety and Chemical Tests?

 Posted on May 01, 2020 in DUI

Arizona DUI AttorneyIn a state where the penalties for driving under the influence are severe, it is easy to become confused on your rights when being pulled over for a DUI. The Behan Law Group wants you to understand your rights if you are stopped and investigated for a DUI. 

What is a Field Sobriety Test and a Chemical Test?  In Arizona, officers use two different types of tests to check a driver for DUI: field sobriety tests and chemical tests. Field sobriety tests are subjective tests that an officer might ask you to perform on the side of the road, such as the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, the Walk and Turn Test, the One-Leg Stand Test etc. On the other hand, chemical tests check your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level by testing your blood, breath, or urine. Breathalyzers, urine samples, and blood draws are all types of chemical tests.

Can I refuse to take sobriety tests?  Yes and no.  While it’s true that you cannot be forced to take a sobriety test, there are some consequences for refusing.  The fact that refused can be used against you in court in some cases.

Field sobriety tests have a bad history of inaccuracy. Many people fail to pass them, even when they haven’t been drinking. For these tests to be considered “accurate,” they need to be administered in accordance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The guidelines under NHSTA are strict, requiring conditions such as proper location, lighting, noise control, weather conditions, age and weight of the driver and how the officer evaluated the tests etc. However, the reality of these tests is that many are not administered in accordance with the NHSTA rules.

Can I refuse to a chemical test?  Yes, you can refuse, but you will face severe consequences if you do.

Because of Arizona’s implied consent law, if you refuse to submit to a blood draw or other chemical test, your license can be taken away and may be suspended for 1 year. Your license can be suspended for two years if you have already refused consent within the last 7 years. Additionally, your refusal will be admitted at trial against you and the arresting officer will draft a sworn statement that details your refusal to take the chemical test.

There are ways to fight the admissibility of a refusal at trial, and there are ways to fight the one-year license suspension.  The lawyers at The Behan Law Group will stand up for your rights and fight to preserve your driving privileges, too.

Many drivers believe that once they are charged, they might as well plead guilty and not defend themselves. There are many ways to defeat a DUI charge, but knowing your rights following a DUI stop is crucial. For more information about your legal rights, and when to properly use them, contact the Behan Law Group. Michelle Behan and her team will help you make smart choices when it comes to your legal options. 

Additional Links on DUI stops:   

Marijuana DUI Laws in Arizona     

What To Do If You Are Pulled Over And You Have Been Drinking In Arizona


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