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Arizona's Implied Consent Law: What Is It?


Individual states have taken the precaution against people resisting blood alcohol content (BAC) tests if they are suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) by passing what are called “implied consent” laws. Arizona’s implied consent law states that if a person is lawfully arrested by an officer who has reasonable grounds to believe he or she was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then he or she automatically consents to take a chemical test of their blood, urine, or breath to determine BAC.

According to the same law, the test must be given within 2 hours of when a person was driving, and the arresting officer gets to choose which test they take. Likewise, people don’t necessarily need to be driving to be required to submit to the tests. If a person has physical control of a vehicle while drunk, that could be enough for an officer to arrest them and require the test. For example, if you are sitting behind the wheel and the car is on but not moving, you could still be arrested for a DUI.

Because these laws are in place, people do not have the option of resisting the test without punishment. For example, if you are arrested and refuse to take the test, even if you’re sober, the officer will require you to surrender your license and will file a report that will result in the state suspending your license or permit for at least 1 year. If you refuse and then change your mind, you can take the test with no consequences for your initial refusal, but you need to tell the officer you will now consent to take the test. Failure to state clearly that you agree to take the test will be treated as a refusal. Subsequent refusals will also increase the amount of time your license will be suspended. A 2nd or 3rd refusal, for example, can both lead to a 2-year suspension of your license.

If you’re facing a DUI charge, you need an experienced Mesa criminal defense attorney on your side. Naegle & Crider Criminal Defense Attorneys can help. Our lawyers have earned a reputation for being fierce advocates who are passionate about defending our clients’ freedom. Let us see what we can do for you.

Contact us at (480) 418-0776 or fill out our online form to schedule a free confidential consultation today.

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