Arizona Supreme Court: Police Can’t Say DUI Tests Are Required

drinking and drivingThe Arizona Supreme Court says police officers can’t flatly tell drunken-driving suspects that they’re required to submit to alcohol testing.

The state high court’s ruling Tuesday says because suspects actually can refuse to submit to alcohol testing, it violates the suspects’ Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable warrantless searches to tell them they must consent.

The ruling says officers should ask suspects to consent to alcohol tests and then tell those refusing that they face consequences such as loss of their driver’s license for a year or longer.

While the justices say a man arrested in a Cochise County DUI case was wrongly told he had to submit to tests, the ruling nevertheless upheld his convictions and sentence.

The ruling said that’s because the state trooper who arrested the man acted in good faith based on what was understood to be the law as described in previous court rulings and on a state-provided form.

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