Arizona Implied Consent Suspension

phoenix dui implied consent suspensionIn Arizona an arrest for DUI can result in a suspension of the driver’s Arizona driver’s license or privilege to drive through two possible civil proceedings. One of those is called an Implied Consent proceeding and the other is an Admin Per Se proceeding. This article will address the particulars of the Implied Consent proceeding, and in a separate article will talk about the Admin Per Se proceeding.

When we drive or are in control of a motor vehicle in Arizona we impliedly say that if we are arrested for DUI, and if requested by an officer, we will successfully submit to a chemical test. If we refuse to submit or do not successfully complete the requested chemical test, then our Arizona driver’s license or privilege to drive will be suspended for one year.

An Implied Consent proceeding is usually initiated by an officer during the processing for the arrest. The officer does so by taking the driver’s Arizona driver’s license, if they have one, and serving the driver with a copy of an Affidavit alleging that the driver has failed to submit or successfully complete the requested chemical test. The officer is not authorized to take an out-of-state license. If the driver has an out-of-state license, or does not have their Arizona driver’s license with them at the time of the arrest, or even has no license, the officer still serves the affidavit on the driver. The officer then forwards the original of the affidavit to the Arizona MVD. The driver then has fifteen days within which to request a hearing and if they fail to do so the suspension automatically goes into effect. Assuming the driver’s license or privilege to drive is not suspended for another reason, then the copy of the affidavit which the driver has received acts as their temporary license.

If a timely request for hearing is filed with the Arizona MVD, then the MVD will set a hearing. The copy of the affidavit will then continue to act as the driver’s temporary license until a hearing is held. If the driver does not file a timely request for a hearing the suspension then automatically goes into effect in sixteen days. If a hearing is requested and held, then at the hearing an administrative law judge has to decide the following issues: 1. did the police have reasonable grounds to place the driver under arrest for DUI; 2. did the driver refuse to submit or fail to successfully complete the chemical tests as requested by the officer; and 3. was the driver advised of the consequences of that refusal or failure to successfully complete the tests. If the evidence does support those allegations to the satisfaction of the judge, then the suspension goes into effect, usually within thirty days of the hearing.

If there are no Implied Consent suspensions within the past seven years, then the driver’s Arizona license or privilege to drive is suspended for one year. The driver cannot drive at all for the first ninety days of the suspension. After the first ninety days the driver is eligible for a restricted license with an ignition interlock device during the remaining nine months of the suspension. The driving is restricted to travel to and from work, school and on the job, as well as to alcohol or drug education and treatment. If the driver has a prior Implied Consent suspension within the seven years prior to the arrest for this new case, then the suspension is for two years and the driver is not eligible for a restricted license at all.

To receive the restricted license if permitted as well as to fully restore the license after the suspension the driver has to complete an alcohol or drug treatment screening session, however, does not have to complete any actual counseling.


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