Independent Blood Alcohol Test Following a DUI in Arizona
If you’ve been charged with an Arizona DUI and the police tested your blood alcohol concentration, you should consider requesting an independent test. You have a right to do so and the test could help your defense against the charges.
We’ll explain how independent testing works, who has a right to request such testing and ways these tests can aid your defense.
Your rights to an independent BAC test
By operating a motor vehicle, you’re essentially agreeing to take a BAC test when police request it. This is what the state refers to as “implied consent.” A.R.S. § 28-1321 outlines the laws of this:
“A person who operates a motor vehicle in this state gives consent, subject to section 4-244, paragraph 34 or section 28-1381, 28-1382 or 28-1383, to a test or tests of the person’s blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance for the purpose of determining alcohol concentration or drug content.”
In addition to the police’s test though, you can request an independent test to ensure the accuracy of your results. If law enforcement makes even small mistakes in administering the test, it could lead to a faulty result, and ultimately your conviction if you aren’t careful.
You should request the test as soon as possible after the police administer their test. An Arizona DUI attorney can recommend reputable testing facilities and resources to protect your rights. Your attorney can then use your BAC test results in your favor during your case.
How an independent BAC test can aid your defense
DUI cases that go to trial require evidence to prove your innocence. One way of obtaining evidence is getting an independent BAC test. There are three main ways that an independent test can aid in building your defense.
- An alternate BAC result – the prosecution bears the burden of proving your guilt. More than likely, your BAC test results will be their primary source of evidence. Getting an independent test that shows a lower reading that proves you were not over the legal limit could provide enough reasonable doubt for the prosecution to drop the case.
- Calling into question your BAC test from law enforcement – the simple fact that your independent test result differed from that of law enforcement’s could bring into question the validity of the test results. This gives your attorney room to question whether the device was calibrated or if your sample got contaminated somehow. It again casts doubt into the police officer’s results.
- Validating your claims – police officers do make mistakes. If you claimed to only have a drink and your BAC reading is extremely high, that indicates a faulty result. But it’s only your word against the police officer’s. That’s a challenging case to win. Getting an independent test will help prove that what you told the officer was true and that you were below the legal limit. It proves the error in the police officer’s BAC test.
What if your request for independent testing is denied?
Even if law enforcement denies your request for an independent BAC test, this could help your case. Or, if you make the request but are unable to fulfill it for many hours, the fact that you requested it can aid your attorney in mounting your defense.
Denying your right to independent testing is grounds for dismissal of DUI charges. Or avoiding the request for too long could also be a violation of your rights, which could be grounds for dismissal or at least cast reasonable doubt in your case.
Requesting an independent BAC test is just one defense strategy. Our office will work with you to build a defense whether you requested such testing or not. Contact us now for the legal defense you deserve.