What Are Your Rights Under Implied Consent?

Implied consent law obligates anyone driving in Arizona to consent to a chemical test if an officer suspects the person of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol.

Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 28-1321 explains implied consent in detail. A chemical test can be a blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance test for determining the blood alcohol content (BAC) or blood drug content. Law enforcement officials have the discretion to decide the type of test you must take. The officer must have reasonable grounds to believe you were driving while intoxicated or that you were under the age of 21 and drove after drinking alcohol. When a test shows .08 percent or higher alcohol concentration, the state considers it a DUI. When driving a commercial vehicle, a driver with BAC that tests .04 percent or higher can be charged with a DUI.

You can refuse a chemical test, but an officer who requests that you take one must inform you of the consequences for refusal. Refusing to submit to the chemical test results in immediate surrender of your driver license or permit, and the state issues you a temporary license, valid for 15 days. After 15 days, the Motor Vehicle Division suspends your driving privileges. However, you have the right to an administrative hearing before the 15 days is over to refute the driver license suspension.

When you take the chemical test, even though the officer decides the type of chemical test, you also have the right to obtain your own independent test, which can be whatever type of test best serves your case. When discrepancies in test results exist, your attorney can argue on your behalf.

By working with a seasoned DUI law firm, you can protect your rights and work to beat the charges. A skilled lawyer has an arsenal of defense strategies available, depending on the circumstances of your case.

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