This article discusses the effects on your license (i.e., suspension) related to getting charged with a DUI anywhere in Arizona, including Flagstaff.
It starts with a DUI arrest, and it involves breathlyzer machines and bodily fluid samples (blood, urine, and more). It’s called Admin Per Se / Implied Consent and it relates to Arizona laws on DUI, specifically sections 28-1381 (DUI), 28-1382 (Extreme DUI), 28-1383 (Aggravated DUI), and other Arizona traffic laws related to drinking and driving. The basic rule is: Any person who operates a vehicle in Arizona gives consent (i.e., by the act of driving, it is implied that you consent) to
“a test or tests of the person’s blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance for the purpose of determining alcohol concentration or drug content” if the person is arrested for any DUI offense “while the person was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.”
Arizona Revised Statute section 28-1321(A).
What this means it that if the police arrest you for DUI (or for being under 21 with any alcohol in your system while driving), then you automatically consent to a test of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substance! Just by driving, you consent. And guess who gets to choose what bodily substance you must give?
You probably guess right: it’s the same police officer that arrested you. So, by driving, you take the risk that a police officer will believe (probable cause or “reasonable grounds”) that you are DUI and arrest you and force you to give up your bodily fluids for testing.
This can happen as long as the officer believes (probable cause or “reasonable grounds”) that you are DUI. It does not matter if you are later acquitted or found not guilty or your case is dismissed. Once you are arrested for DUI, the officer is legally required to ask you to submit to the testing of your bodily fluids or breath. See Arizona Revised Statute section 28-1321(B).
If you agree to provide a sample, and your blood-alcohol-concentration (BAC) comes back at 0.08% or higher, your driver’s license is automatically suspended for at least 90 consecutive days. You will have to do a drug and/or alcohol screening in order to get your license back after 90 days. Refusal: Two Things Happen If you refuse to submit to provide a breath sample or your bodily fluids that the police officer wants, first you will be threatened.
The law requires the police officer, upon your refusal, to threaten you with the following: Your driving privilege is suspended for 12 months, or for 2 years if this is your second refusal in an 84-month period. So if the officer wants your urine, and you refuse to provide it, your license will be suspended for 12 months. Period. However, you may appeal the suspension and request a hearing before the Arizona MVD but must do so very quickly. The second thing that is likely to happen to you is that the police officer will still take your bodily fluid.
So, not only will you lose your license for 12 months (for refusing to provide a sample), but the officer will probably send a “tele-fax” search warrant to a magistrate, who will likely issue a search warrant. See Arizona Revised Statute section 13-3915. The search warrant will allow a qualified phlebotomist to come and take your blood without your consent, authority, or approval. If you resist, you will be forcibly held down and/or strapped to a chair, and they will put a needle in your arm and take your blood. And after that, they will still take your driver’s license.
There are many other consequences related to Admin Per Se and Implied Consent laws in Arizona. When you are arrested for DUI, a complex chain of events, and Arizona laws, will begin changing your life.
There is no way to describe all of those events and laws in this article, but one thing is for sure: you should talk to a lawyer. The penalties for DUI are severe, including mandatory jail time in every DUI conviction.
Be careful out there, and if you get arrested for DUI, call me right away to protect your rights.