What Happens if You Refuse a Breathalyzer in Arizona?

what happens if you refuse a breathalyzerWe get a bunch of questions regarding breathalyzers tests in Arizona. Many people say that their friends and family members have told them that it is best to simply refuse to submit to the test so that the police cannot get the evidence they need to prosecute you.

There are many reasons why that line of thinking is wrong and will do nothing to help your case.

Today, we want to briefly go over some of the aspects of getting pulled over for DUI and being asked to take a breathalyzer test. Please know that we are not going over everything that happens in a DUI arrest, so if you or someone you know are looking for in-depth answers, please seek a qualified Arizona DUI attorney to help you through this process.

Getting Stopped

There are not many worse feeling than seeing blue lights in your rearview mirror and hearing that siren chirp. If you have been out and a had a few drinks, you will undoubtedly begin to worry about what is going to happen. The main thing anyone needs to remember is to be respectful to a police officer if you get pulled over. Everything that happens the few moments after you get pulled over can have long-term consequences.

When you get a license in Arizona, you are giving “implied consent” to submitting to any number of tests to determine if you have been drinking and driving. This can include a breath, blood, or urine test. That is fine, but they cannot ask you to submit to these tests until you have been arrested, right?

Technically that is true. If you are asked to submit to a breathalyzer test before you have been arrested you can refuse. The result of that refusal will almost certainly be you getting arrested under suspicion of DUI and asked if you would now like to submit to a breath test.

Seems unfair, but if you have been pulled over and asked to submit to testing it is likely that the officer already believes they have enough evidence to make an arrest anyway. The officer will inform you that a refusal to test will result in the immediate suspension of your license for one year if this is your first refusal or first DUI (within the last seven years).

Unfortunately, even after refusing the breathalyzer, the officer will probably obtain a search warrant to compel you to submit to a blood or urine test. They are going to get the evidence they need so refusing is not your best option, despite what your friends and family may tell you.

The Real Goal

Whether this is your first DUI or not, your number one goal needs to be to get these charged dropped or reduced. The best way to do that is to secure a knowledgeable and experienced Arizona DUI attorney who will analyze the entire case, from the reason for you getting pulled over to the evidence gathered against you.

  • Were you in physical control of the vehicle?
  • Was there reasonable suspicion for the stop?
  • Did the officer inform you of the consequences of refusing a breathalyzer (if you refused)?
  • Were the Standard Field Sobriety Tests performed properly?
  • Was the breathalyzer properly calibrated according to required standards?

Moving Forward

The penalties for a DUI are tough in Arizona, especially if this is not your only one within the last seven years. The quicker you act to secure an attorney who has experience with these cases, the better off you will be. Relying on an overworked public defender is not an option.

Click here for additional information on our Arizona DUI attorneys.