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Arizona DUI Defense Attorney Guide to a DUI Arrest - Step 5 - Arrival at DUI Van / Police Station

ARRIVAL AT DUI VAN / POLICE STATION / HOSPITAL:

Once you get to your destination, again remind the police officer that you want to speak to an Attorney prior any chemical test (blood / breath / urine test).

If possible, try to take note of any people around when you are doing this, such as a nurse, or other DUI suspect, and try to get their name.

Once at the DUI Van / Police Station / Hospital, the officer who arrested you may continue to do the investigation, or may have another officer get involved. Sometimes there is an officer stationed in the DUI Van, or at the police station, who will take over the investigation.

If you are passed along to another police officer, be sure to clearly tell that officer that you want to speak to an Attorney before any chemical tests are performed.

The officer may say that they want to read you the Admin Per Se / Implied Consent paperwork first. The Admin Per Se / Implied Consent law states that a person driving inArizonagives consent to provide blood / breath / urine at the request of a police officer. If you do not provide your blood / breath / urine at the request of the police officer, your license will be suspended for one year.

Now the officer should allow you to talk to an Attorney prior to reading you the Admin Per Se / Implied Consent, but just in case they don’t, you can tell the officer that you are not refusing to do the test, but you need to talk to an Attorney before you can make a decision on whether to take the test.

The law inArizonasays that you do not have the right to refuse to take the blood / breath / urine test, but you do have the ability to refuse.

The key is that you want to talk to an Attorney, and that you are not refusing, but you need to consult with an Attorney first. The officers can chose to get a search warrant instead of waiting for your consent, but it is more important that you talk to an Attorney first.

If the officers tell you that they take your failure to consent as a refusal, you can again tell them that you need to talk to an Attorney first, and that you are not refusing.

Refusing to consent to a blood/breath/urine test solely results in a license suspension for one year. It is not a crime to refuse to consent. If the officers say that you refused to consent, which then results in a one year license suspension, you will be given an opportunity to challenge that suspension at a later time, in what is called an Administrative Hearing with a Motor Vehicle Division Administrator.

At some point the officer will provide you a copy of the Admin Per Se / Implied Consent form. On that form, there is information on how you can challenge the Admin Per Se / Implied Consent suspension.

Note that you should be handed the form if you are giving a blood, breath, or urine test, but occasionally, the officer will choose to hold off on providing you the form. The officer may wait until the blood or urine test results come back before they notify the MVD. Once the MVD is notified of any illegal substance, or alcohol content above the legal limit, the MVD will mail out notice of the suspension to the last address the MVD has on record for you. Be sure the MVD has the most updated address for you.

Keep in mind that an Admin Per Se / Implied Consent suspension is not an indication of guilt. It is simply a suspension based on a suspicion of driving under the influence, or on a failure to consent to the taking of a blood / breath / urine test. This is a civil issue, which can be challenged later on your own, or with the assistance of an Attorney.

If you do not consent to the blood / breath / urine test requested by the officer, the officer can chose to get a warrant to take your blood / breath / urine. If you requested to speak to an attorney, the officer must give you an opportunity to talk to an Attorney before that warrant is served on you, and before actually taking your blood / breath / urine.

If the officer is about to take your blood / breath / urine, and you haven’t yet talked to an Attorney, you need to remind the officer that you want to talk to an Attorney before you do any blood / breath / urine test.

If the officer refuses to let you talk to an Attorney prior to the blood / breath / urine test, there are a few things you can do.

  • If they are requesting a breath test, you can refuse to blow.

  • If they are requesting a urine test, you can refuse to urinate.

  • If they are requesting a blood test, however, do not squirm or refuse. Just allow them to draw your blood.

The reason is that the officer may not be able to force you to blow into their machine, and may not be able to force you to urinate, but the law allows them to forcibly hold you down and take your blood. It is not pleasant.

The thing is, if you kept politely and clearly asking to speak to an Attorney, and your blood was drawn prior to you being given the opportunity to speak to an Attorney, the entire case may be dismissed for a violation of your Constitutional Right to Counsel (Attorney).

Keep in mind, however, that if the officer asks you for a breath test, and you tell them that you want to speak to an Attorney before you make that decision, the officer may tell you that they are going to ask for a blood test instead. Most people are scared of needles. Technically, it is the officer’s decision what type of test is done, and the most common test being requested by officers is blood. Do not allow the officer to convince you or scare you into giving up your ability to talk to an Attorney prior to the test. Chances are you are going to have your blood drawn from you regardless.

Rundown of DOs and DON’Ts:

  • DO be polite and respectful to the officer
  • DO remind the transport police officer that you want to talk to an Attorney
  • DO tell any other officer you might be passed off to that you want to talk to an Attorney
  • DO tell the officer that you are not refusing consent, you just want to talk to your Attorney to get advice before you decide
  • DON’T squirm or prevent the officer from taking a blood sample even if the officer didn’t give you the opportunity to talk to an Attorney
  • DON’T be scared into giving up your ability to talk to an Attorney because the officer will make you do a blood test instead of a breath test if you “refuse"

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