Maybe you have seen or have been victims of DUI car accidents. A driver is pulled over in the middle of the intersection of possibly Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, or Tempe. It is late, maybe near downtown Gilbert and or even Chandler. You see the carnage, the auto accident wreckage. And you see one individual wobbling a straight line while an officer holds a flashlight. The officer on the scene is tending to you and telling you, they are checking the driver for intoxication. What is it you are witnessing? You are watching a drunk driver taking a field sobriety test after he has victimized someone in a car crash.
The first step in a drugged case is assessing the injuries to you, the victim. Then you can determine the degree of alcohol or drugs in the at-fault driver’s system.
If the ambulance does not take the drunk driver, they have to participate in roadside sobriety tests. The officer issued these tests on the spot. Any sign that a person cannot complete them satisfactorily usually results in their arrest warrant. What happens when the driver refuses to participate in roadside tests after becoming a part of suspected DUI? There is no chance that an officer would allow that person to leave the scene, and they are typically immediately arrested. This begs the question then of why would someone who has just been pulled over choose definite arrest over the chance of passing the field sobriety tests?
Arizona is one of the many states in the country that has an implied consent law, which applies to all persons who choose to drive on the state’s roads. According to this law, by the mere act of choosing to drive on an Arizona roadway, a driver consents to undergo a test or tests to determine if they have been driving under the influence. The types of tests issued by law enforcement may be of the driver’s blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substance.
This does not mean that a person must submit to a test just because they were the victim, however. The law mandates that a person is only subject to the implied consent law if they are placed under arrest for a violation of the drinking and driving statutes. Once an officer believes that a person is driving under the influence and places the person under arrest, it is at this point where some drivers still refuse to take a roadside breathalyzer test.
There are some reasons proffered by defense attorneys as to why their clients are reluctant to submit themselves to a breathalyzer and instead choose to have blood drawn. One is that some attorneys believe that breathalyzer tests are unreliable. However, there is an argument that is now being raised by defense attorneys that results from blood tests should also be deemed untrustworthy and not be used to hold their clients accountable for driving while under the influence.
Essentially people who choose to drink and then drive are now being told to wait as long as possible before submitting to any type of test. This, of course, means that the test results of someone who was over the legal limit at the time of their arrest may show a much lower blood alcohol content due to the time between arrest and the time of the test.
Individuals who decide that they want to drink and drive should not skirt Arizona’s tough laws against driving under the influence. By attempting to wait out the blood alcohol test or roadside breathalyzer, they are hoping to drop their alcohol testing.
Does it work? It is hard to tell. Our Phoenix police force certainly doesn’t care for anyone who attempts to skirt the law. As a result, the drunk driving task force van immediately checked those individuals. After that, they performed a breathalyzer and a blood test on the spot.