A Detailed Guide To Protect Your License When Fighting a Field Sobriety Test Refusal In Arizona
When Arizona Police pull you over for a DUI, they will request that you take a field sobriety test. If you choose to refuse this test, the consequences lead to license suspension. These days, getting around without a car isn’t simple so a lack of license can cause major issues for many people.
There is a way to fight license suspension after a field sobriety test refusal. The deadlines, however, are very strict and must be adhered to right away. It is highly recommended to hire a DUI attorney in such a situation to ensure proper defense and a more favorable outcome.
Field Sobriety Tests & Chemical Evidence For Driving Under The Influence
Police officers, by law, are required to administer a field sobriety test if they suspect you are driving under the influence of alcohol. These tests are given to determine if an arrest is necessary and can be given in several different ways. Most of the time, the test is subjective and is determined through police judgment based on behavior. Other tests are chemically based and tend to be more reliable.
There is a wide variety of both chemical and behavioral tests that police may use. The most common tests that you will encounter are:
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: following a moving object horizontally with your eyes.
Walk-and-Turn: Take nine steps along a straight line.
One-Leg Stand: standing on one leg.
Breathalyzer test: blowing into a device that measures ethanol.
Urine Test: checking urine for EtG which can be noticed after significant time has passed.
Counting and ABCs: counting or saying the ABCs.
Blood Test: testing blood for 0.08% blood alcohol level or higher.
The Things Police Watch For During a Field Sobriety Test
If you’re pulled over, Police officers will look for several signs indicating you are intoxicated. Your Mesa defense attorney will have you note, however, that they cannot give you a field sobriety test if there are no reasons to believe you are driving under the influence.
If you do find yourself subjected to a sobriety test, there are several things that the officers are looking for:
Poor balance and coordination
Scattered eye movements
Slurred speech and articulation
Odor of alcohol
Poor motor skills
Slow or delayed reaction time
None of the tests are difficult or take any time, but if you choose to refuse a field sobriety test, the penalty can be severe. Arizona drivers operate under implied consent and refusal results in immediate driver’s license suspension. The good news is, there is a way to fight the suspension with your attorney!
Duration Of License Suspension After Field Sobriety Test Refusal
Driver’s license suspension for refusing a sobriety test varies depending on whether it is your first instance or not. If you have not refused a field sobriety test in the last seven years, the DMV will suspend your license for one full year. If, however, this is your second or more refusal in that seven-year timeframe, the suspension will be for two full years.
Keep in mind that these suspension timeframes are only for refusal to take a field sobriety test. If you are found guilty of a DUI, there would be suspensions issued by a court that will be in addition to the DMV suspension.
If this is your first sobriety test refusal, there are ways to start driving again before the year is up. You can apply for an “occupational” license after 90 days which allows you to drive with an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. That said, there are restrictions to where and when you can drive.
How To Fight Driver’s License Suspension After a Refusal
There are ways to combat this driver’s license suspension after a sobriety test refusal! As soon as you refuse the test, your license will be revoked and you will be issued a 15-day temporary license. During this timeframe only is when you can take action.
The first step is to file a request for a hearing. If the DMV receives this request on the 16th day, it will be too late. Consider bringing your lawyer to your hearing to ensure your rights and help you with a defense. This is especially important as your potential DUI may also be pending in court. If during the court session, you are not granted your license back, you will have 30 days to appeal the decision.
Get In Touch With Mesa’s Top-Rated DUI Lawyers Today!
If you have recently refused a field sobriety test or need a skilled lawyer for your pending DUI case, get in touch with Dove Law Firm! We are your trusted Mesa criminal defense attorneys who will be by your side ensuring your rights every step of the way.
Every case we take is unique and we promise to give you the time and attention you deserve. Contact us today on our online form!
This blog is purely for marketing purposes and should not be construed as legal advice.