A common DUI question asked is whether blood draws are legal in Arizona. The answer to that question is “Yes.” Law enforcement may choose to administer a breath, blood and/or urine test if probable cause exists.
Blood Draws are Legal If Supported by Probable Cause
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prevents the government from searching for or seizing evidence from a person without a search warrant. This includes bodily fluids, such as blood, urine, or saliva. Indeed, law enforcement may only obtain a search warrant by establishing and swearing to probable cause that evidence is present in a specific location.
Chemical Tests in DUI Cases
Probable cause and search warrants are obviously relevant to DUI cases. The investigating officer determines which chemical test (breath, blood, or urine) to administer. An officer has discretion to select one, two or all three chemical tests if the officer chooses to. Giving an investigating officer discretion makes sense as the officer chooses which test(s) due to observations of the driver. Indeed, it would make little sense an officer be required to administer a breath test when drug ingestion is suspected.
However, before choosing the chemical test(s), law enforcement must read the admin per se implied consent affidavit. In short, this affidavit advises the driver they must submit to a specified test. A driver may consent or refuse at that point. Refusing the chemical test results in a 1-year license suspension. Additionally, a search warrant for a blood sample is subsequently sought and generally obtained by law enforcement.
Search Warrants Authorize Blood Draws
Having a search warrant signed is a simple process with today’s technology. Indeed, search warrants may be telephonic and obtained quickly. The search warrant authorizes a blood draw. The only requirements for a blood draw is that it take place in a “safe and sterile” environment. And, Arizona DUI law requires the sample drawn within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the motor vehicle. However, this generally is not problematic for the State’s case as a state criminalist will “retrograde” the alcohol content result back to either the time of driving or within two hours of driving.
Indeed, the law authorizes force to obtain a sample, if necessary. Specifically, law enforcement will strap someone down to obtain the sample. This seems archaic but allowed under the law if the State can establish probable cause that an intoxicating substance is present in the driver’s system.
Why Choose Huss Law?
Jeremy L. Huss has been practicing criminal law in Arizona for 20 years. Mr. Huss, and the attorneys at Huss Law, PLLC, are experts in handling blood draw DUI cases. Determining probable cause and whether law enforcement correctly obtained a warrant are fact-intensive analyses. Anybody facing these charges should contact Huss Law today for a Free Consultation!Categories:: DUI