Understanding Implied Consent
Under the law of implied consent, Arizona drivers are obligated to take an alcohol or drug test at the request of a police officer. If there is probable cause for intoxication, an arresting officer can demand you take a breath, blood, or urine test, with strict penalties for refusal. Understanding implied consent and other related laws helps drivers in the Phoenix, Arizona, area avoid unnecessary consequences at a DUI (driving under the influence) traffic stop. Whether it is alcohol or drugs, prescription or not, if you are thought to be impaired to the slightest degree, you can be convicted of driving under the influence. If you refuse alcohol or drug testing, your license may be suspended for a year and your refusal used against you in court.
With harsh potential consequences for violating implied consent or DUI laws, fighting these allegations is a smart decision. Experienced criminal defense attorney James E. Novak can help you successfully combat or minimize DUI or DUI drug charges. To schedule a consultation, contact the Law Office of James E. Novak today.
Implied Consent Law
Arizona law states that any police officer may take you into custody if there are reasonable grounds to believe you are operating a vehicle while impaired. Probable cause can include odor, slurred speech, enlarged pupils, or swerving while driving. An officer may ask you to take a field sobriety test, and the results of this roadside test can also be probable cause for arrest.
It is important to know that implied consent does not obligate you to take a field sobriety test, nor does it mean you must take a roadside breath test. You can refuse these requests, and it is your legal right to ask to speak to an attorney before taking any tests at the police station.
After an arrest has been made, the officer has two hours to give you a breath, urine, or blood test at the station or a hospital. He or she is allowed to choose the method used to confirm or deny the existence of intoxicating substances in your body.
Refusing the Test
If you refuse to take a drug or alcohol test, the officer will immediately confiscate your license. You will receive a 15-day temporary driving permit, during which time the officer will file a report explaining the grounds for requesting DUI testing. From there, your license can be suspended for a year for a first offense.
The district attorney will likely move forward with DUI prosecution using any eyewitness testimony from the officer as well as your refusal to take the test as showing evidence of guilt. A DUI conviction can result in jail time, large fines, and other penalties.
James E. Novak offers years of DUI defense experience, and he is well prepared to fight for your rights. If you are accused of violating implied consent laws, defenses include officer procedural error and lack of legitimate probable cause.
Contact James Novak for DUI Defense
If you are arrested after a DUI stop, obtaining expert legal representation can make all the difference in your case and eventual outcome. Contact the Law Office of James Novak today for a consultation and evaluation of your case.