Should I Refuse a DUI Blood Test: Knowing Your Rights

A man having blood drawn
Here at The Law Office of James Novak, we want to make sure that the people of Phoenix have a strong legal advocate on their side. The drunk driving laws of Arizona can be difficult to comprehend given the unique penalties for certain actions. That's why having an experienced DUI defense attorney on your side is so crucial.

We'd like to take a moment to consider DUI blood tests, a type of chemical sobriety assessment, with a particular focus on what happens if you refuse to take a blood test.

About Blood Tests in DUI Cases

A blood test involves officers drawing blood from you at the police station and then analyzing the blood sample to measure BAC (blood alcohol concentration). This is more accurate than non-scientific than field sobriety tests, and a much better level of intoxication than a breathalyzer test or a urine test.

Flaws of DUI Blood Tests

Even though blood tests are on the surface a more scientific and accurate measure of sobriety, they are not always an ideal measure. Blood samples may become contaminated from improper handling and storage, and issues with the act of drawing blood itself may result in a false positive. In addition, issues may occur with the forensic lab and the technicians. Human and mechanical error can make a major difference.

Is It a Good Idea to Refuse Taking a Blood Test?

As we said about refusing breathalyzer tests, this is generally not a good idea.

If you refuse to submit to chemical tests during a drunk driving arrest, you are subject to a number of penalties, which can make matters much worse for you.

An Issue of Implied Consent

At the heart of this issue is the matter of Implied Consent. According to Arizona's Implied Consent laws, anyone operating a vehicle at the time of a traffic stop can be subjected to some sort of test to assess BAC.

Consequences for Refusing to Take a Blood Test

If you refuse to submit to a BAC test, there is a strict procedure that's followed by Arizona law enforcement. Drivers are placed under arrest and must have their drivers licenses taken away. Drivers will be issued a temporary driving permit good for 90 days. The arresting officer will make a sworn report detailing the driver's refusal to take a chemical test.

The driver's license will be suspended for at least 1 year for refusing to take a chemical test. After 90 days of license suspension, the driver can request the installation of an ignition interlock device, which is a mini-breathalyzer in the car. The vehicle will not be able to start unless the ignition interlock device has been blown into and the driver demonstrates sobriety.

More Severe Consequences for Refusing to Take a Blood Test

The duration of the license suspension will depend on how many offenses a driver has within in 7-year period. The suspension lengths are as follows:

  • First Offense – 1-year suspension
  • Second Offense – 2-year suspension
  • Third Offense – 2-year suspension

Learn More About Your Legal Options

For more information about your legal options following a drunk driving arrest, be sure to contact an experienced drunk driving defense attorney today. By speaking with the team at The Law Office of James Novak, you will learn about your legal rights and how to properly exercise them.

Contact Information