Can a Police Officer Require Me to Take a DUI Blood Test?
Being pulled over for a suspected DUI is nerve-wracking, and drivers know that a conviction means big life changes. So to avoid it, drivers might refuse a blood test, which legally, the driver can do.
However, if a police officer has reasonable suspicions that you might be under the influence, the officer can get a warrant, at which point you must submit to a blood test. If your DUI charges had questionable circumstances, hire an Arizona DUI attorney to represent your case.
When you get behind the wheel of a car in Arizona, you submit to the laws and regulations of such activity. One law is that you must drive responsibly, which means not drinking and driving. So when an officer pulls you over and asks for a blood test and you know you’ve been drinking, sometimes delaying that test can be helpful.
The longer that you delay the blood test, the more likely you’ll be to sober up in that time, making the blood alcohol content lower. If the officer smells alcohol on your breath, you’re slurring your words, you fail a field sobriety test or there are other indicators of driving under the influence, the officer could obtain a warrant for the blood test.
Arizona DUIs and blood testing
The fourth amendment of the Constitution protects you from unlawful search and seizure. That applies to both your vehicle and your person, which means your blood is protected by the law.
This means that a police officer cannot randomly submit you to DUI tests. There must be signs of drinking and driving before the officer can make you take any tests. These signs might include:
- Slurred speech
- Smelling like alcohol
- Bloodshot or glassy-looking eyes
- Struggling with fine motor skills
- Problems with balance
- Aggressive behavior
When a driver admits to drinking alcohol before driving – even if it’s within moderation – this can also give the officer cause to test you. Be very careful about what you say during a traffic stop to avoid this common trap.
If there are signs that you might be driving under the influence, the police officer can make a call to receive the warrant he or she needs to make you submit to a blood test or other test to measure your ability to drive.
Cases where it looks like there’s no way for you to avoid a blood test, you should immediately invoke your right to remain silent and request that your attorney be present for all questioning. From the moment the conversation at a traffic stop changes from a possible ticket to a DUI, you should remain silent and avoid answering questions from law enforcement until your attorney is present.
Defenses for a DUI based on blood test
If an officer forces you into a blood test without your consent or without a warrant, an Arizona DUI attorney can fight for your case to ensure the charges are dropped. In most DUI cases, the blood test is the largest piece of evidence the prosecution has against you. Without it, many cases crumble.
Additionally, the blood test must follow certain protocols and failure to do so can make the test results invalid. Your attorney can review the test and ensure that it was obtained properly and run properly.
Some cases might be better to plead down the charges against you instead of going to trial. An Arizona DUI attorney can review all the details and make the best decision for your specific case. That’s where an attorney is a huge asset to your case. Contact us for a case evaluation and a free consultation.