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Can I refuse to take breath or field sobriety tests?

Driving while intoxicated is a very serious mistake that many people in Arizona have made or will make. People either don't think they are legally drunk or they decide to knowingly take the risk of driving drunk. Whether a person knows they are breaking the law or not, he or she can face serious penalties if pulled over by a police and arrested for DUI.

However, before a person can be arrested, police officers typically try to gather as much evidence as possible to support their claim that a driver is drunk. This means that they will be closely scrutinizing a person's appearance and behavior during a traffic stop and may request that a person undergoes testing to measure intoxication. In these situations, a driver may be wondering if it is possible to refuse to complete these tests.

Legally speaking, a driver can refuse to perform field sobriety tests or submit a breath or blood sample without a warrant. However, in Arizona, there is the Implied Consent Law which means that a licensed driver has given their consent to be tested for sobriety as a condition of having a license. 

If a driver refuses field sobriety tests or a breath test, he or she is in violation of the Implied Consent Law and will typically lose a license for at least a year. This will happen even if a person is not driving drunk.

Refusing these tests can force an officer to secure a warrant to collect blood, urine or breath samples to measure the amount of alcohol in a person's body. Getting a warrant will take some time, though typically not much, and it requires an officer to have legitimate reasons for testing a person for impairment.

Every person has the right to decide whether they want to refuse these tests or not, but it is important to know that there will typically be consequences no matter what is decided. 

Dealing with the penalties for refusing a test or for submitting a test that leads to drunk driving allegations can be very upsetting and overwhelming. Thankfully, every person has the right to discuss their case with an attorney. Whether a person is seeking license reinstatement, dismissed charges or minimized consequences, pursuing an acceptable outcome can be much easier with the help and guidance of an attorney.

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