Implied consent is the idea that when you get a driver’s license and drive on the roads of Arizona, you have implicitly consented to take a breath or blood test upon request from a police officer. They may request a sample if they suspect you of driving under the influence (DUI). Although you have the ability to refuse these tests, you face penalties.
Our legal team can further explain implied consent in Gilbert DUI cases and help you protect your rights. The dedicated attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group have represented many people accused of DUI and know how to pursue the best possible outcome in your case.
When an officer pulls over a driver for suspected DUI, they will make certain requests. First, they may ask the driver to get out of the car and identify themselves, which the driver must do. The officer may also ask if they can check the driver out to ensure they are okay to drive. Although most people consent to this without thinking, it is best to politely say, “No, thank you, I do not consent to that.” This prevents the officer from further observing or making the driver perform field sobriety tests. Even if the officer decides to arrest them anyway, their refusal could significantly help their case.
The officer will also ask for consent to get a breath sample during the arrest. A driver can refuse a handheld breath test, giving the prosecution less evidence for their case if the officer makes an arrest. However, the officer may take them in and ask for a breath or blood sample at the police station. If they refuse after being arrested at the station, they have violated their implied consent.
Violating implied consent by refusing a breath or blood test after a DUI arrest will lead to a year-long driver’s license suspension. However, agreeing to and failing the test can also lead to a minimum 90-day suspension, although some of that time can be served with a restricted license.
After an officer requests a DUI test, the best response is to say, “I’d be happy to do anything, but I want to talk to a lawyer first.” The officer must let the driver talk to an attorney at that point—if they refuse, legal counsel can use that violation of their rights as a potential defense. A seasoned Gilbert lawyer who understands implied consent in DUI cases can advise the driver on consenting to a breath or blood test, depending on the circumstances and their criminal history.
Many drivers do not know their rights and are understandably terrified when pulled over for suspected drunk driving. They may believe they must follow everything the police officer says. Alternatively, they might think there are no consequences to refusing the officer’s requests for blood or breath testing.
An experienced attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group can clear up these and other common misunderstandings about DUI laws in Arizona. Our legal team can explain the role of implied consent in Gilbert DUI cases and begin representing you from the moment of your arrest. Give us a call as soon as possible to get started.