man refusing a breathalyzer test

Can You Be Penalized for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Arizona?

A person who is pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence may be tempted to refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer test. Before such a refusal, drivers should be aware of the potential consequences of refusing a breathalyzer test in Arizona. In fact, refusing to submit to such a test creates additional problems on top of the suspected DUI.

Can You Be Penalized for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Arizona?

Drivers in Arizona need to be aware that refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer test can result in some serious repercussions. Arizona is an implied consent state. In fact, it is a condition to get a driver’s license in the state. Drivers in Arizona implicitly agree to submitting to a breath, blood, or urine test if pulled over and requested to do so by a law enforcement officer who has reasonable grounds for the belief that they were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer test is, therefore, a violation of the state’s implied consent law and carries its own set of repercussions.

If it is a driver’s first offense for refusing to submit to a BAC test requested by an officer, the person’s driver’s license can be suspended for one year. If it is the second offense within 7 years of the previous offense, then the person’s driver’s license can be suspended for 2 years. If it is the third refusal to submit to test within 7 years of the previous offense, then the person’s driver’s license can be suspended for another 2 years.

If a driver refuses to submit to a Breathalyzer test, then the officer will take his or her driver’s license away and he or she will be issued a temporary driving permit which is valid for 15 days. The state will send notice to the person about the suspension and will include forms which the person can use in order to challenge the suspension. Should the person wish to challenge the suspension, a hearing must be requested within 15 days of the notice being issued. The hearing must be requested with the Motor Vehicles Division (MVD).

At the hearing, you have the ability to challenge whether the arresting law enforcement officer actually had reasonable grounds for believing that the person was actually driving under the influence. Should you feel that the officer lacked these grounds, you can contest that at the hearing.

It should also be noted that there may be other repercussions for refusing a Breathalyzer test. Many may choose to refuse a breath test to avoid providing incriminating evidence that could be used in court to support a DUI conviction. A refusal to submit to a Breathalyzer test, however, can be used in court in and of itself by a prosecutor. The prosecutor can use the refusal to show that the defendant had something to hide and that is why he or she refused to submit to the test.

DUI Defense Attorneys

At Blischak Law, we will give you direct answers to your criminal law questions. We are about providing our clients with the information they need to make informed decisions. We are about fighting for and protecting our clients’ best interests. Contact us today.