No one enjoys being stopped by the police when driving down the highway; there are no positive outcomes other than being allowed to drive away without a citation. Officers are trained to investigate those who may be driving under the influence, and they might conduct a field breath test just to get a gauge on impairment level even when a motorist is not noticeably drunk. Driving under the influence of other drugs in Arizona is a violation as well, and officers do have the authority to request a warrant from a judge for a blood test for suspected intoxicated drivers who have drugs in their system.
The decision to test a driver essentially comes down to the officer’s judgement even when a field sobriety reading is less than 0.05 BAC, which is the legal limit for the standard adult non-commercial driver. Readings between 0.05 and 0.08 can still result in a reckless driving charge. Administering a test is legal under reasonable suspicion standards, including taking a driver to the police station for an official BAC test before issuing a DUI citation. Field sobriety tests are not admissible evidence per se in court, but the results can be used by the officer to justify testing a suspect for alcohol concentration when a case is being defended.
Many individuals do not know that an officer can charge a driver with DUI even when they have little evidence beyond personal observation. A driver who refuses a breath test can still receive a citation even when the officer has no documentation. In addition, alcohol is not the only intoxicant that can give law enforcement the authority to issue a DUI to a suspected impaired driver; individuals who take prescription medications must not drive under the influence of mind-altering medications.
It’s important to remember that all DUI charges are serious legal matters even when the state is using minimal documented evidence as a basis for the charge. A person may want to call an experienced DUI attorney when facing an impaired driving charge.