- The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) number from a type of breath test machine referred to as a “preliminary breath test” or “PBT” is not admissible in Arizona’s criminal courts. The PBTs are usually small hand held devices in contrast to the much larger and bulkier court approved Evidential Breath Testers such as the Intoxilizer 5000 and Intoxilizer 8000. A positive result on the PBT should only be used for determining if there is the presence of alcohol in the driver’s system. This is to aid the officer in his or her investigation. The PBT devices do not meet the scientific standards required of admissible scientific evidence.
- You are not required to perform the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. The fact that you refused these tests can be mentioned to the jury. However, in most cases it is a good idea to refuse to perform these roadside tests. If you take these tests you are usually helping the police build their case against you. There is almost never an upside to taking the tests and nearly always a downside.
- A lot of people wonder if they should agree to a blood test. This is a tricky question and it depends on how important having a driver’s license is to you. In most cases, you should submit to a “chemical test” if you do not want your driver’s license suspended for a longer period of time. The chemical tests could include a blood test or a court admissible version of the breathalyzer. If you refuse the chemical test or delay the test for an unreasonable amount of time and the police ask for a warrant your license will most likely be suspended for one year. In addition, the police will obtain a warrant over the phone within minutes in most cases. There is always a judge on duty 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to hear law enforcements’ applications for search warrants. If the judge determines there is probable cause, they will issue a warrant. If having a license is not vital to your life you may want to consider refusing and make them get a warrant. You may have a case where they do not have probable cause and a warrant wasn’t or should not have been issued. This is one reason taking the Field Sobriety Tests are such a bad idea in most cases. It helps the officer make a stronger argument to the judge. In addition the field sobriety test results are used in jury trials to help convict the Defendant.
- If you are likely facing a felony charge, you should probably insist they get a warrant. This is because a felony DUI conviction comes with substantial prison time and the length of your driver’s licenses suspension is not high on the priority list as it often is in a misdemeanor dui case.
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