Medical Blood Draws in Arizona DUI Cases
Whenever a person is stopped by law enforcement professionals in Arizona and there’s some evidence they could be intoxicated, the individual will be detained. Following the arrest, a blood alcohol content test will be administered. The test can be in the form of blowing into breathalyzer or medical blood draws.
Individuals who are to be subjected to DUI blood tests are entitled to some protection under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. Thus, for the test to be legal, a few conditions will have to be met.
When are DUI Blood Draws Legal?
A police officer will either need consent on behalf of the suspect or a search warrant for the blood draw to take place legally.
While this is the general case, a few exceptions may apply to these conditions.
Exigent circumstances enable police officers to get a blood sample without having a search warrant. In addition, police officers should have reasonable suspicion that said individual was operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Exigent circumstances exist when there’s a compelling need for immediate action on behalf of the law enforcement professional, which makes it impossible to wait for the search warrant. This definition, however, could be left to interpretation. In some instances, the natural dissipation of alcohol in the blood after a certain period of time has been classified as exigent circumstances. In other instances, court has ruled out that this is not a reason for a warrantless blood draw to occur.
In general, if an officer suspects that someone has been driving under the influence, they will be asked to do a BAC test. It is up to the officer to determine whether to opt for this type of testing or for a breathalyzer exam.
How to Respond to a Blood BAC Test Request
Arizona is an implied consent state. This means that if a vehicle operator refuses to do a BAC test, their license will be suspended.
When taken in custody, a suspect will be asked to have their BAC level tested. If the vehicle operator refuses the test, it could still occur after the police officer gets the needed warrant.
Keep in mind that even if you have not consumed alcohol and you haven’t committed DUI, your license will be suspended due to a BAC blood draw refusal. Thus, it may be in your best interest to cooperate with law enforcement professionals and get in touch with a DUI attorney as soon as possible.
The license suspension period will be dependent on the specifics of the offense. A first-time offender will have their license suspended for a period of one year. In the case of second-time offenders, the suspension period will be two years. The same applies to all other repeat offenders.
Refusing a BAC Blood Draw is Never in Your Best Interest
So many people still believe the common misconception that refusing medical blood draws is a good idea because there will be no evidence against them this way.
The approach is wrong and it can have long-lasting consequences. The suspension of your license is just the administrative measure you will have to deal with. There will also be financial implications and a lot of time wasted dealing with procedurals.
If you’re not certain how to act, call an attorney. You have this right. Usually, police officers will ask about the BAC blood draw a second time after to get your consent.
Even if your BAC test produces a positive result, there are still ways to counter the evidence and the charges. Procedural mistakes and violations of your constitutional rights will be targeted by DUI lawyers. Do the test to avoid the administrative consequences and choose the right lawyer. These are the first two important steps to complete after getting charged with DUI.