Last time we briefly discussed some of the differences between MVD and the court system in Arizona. Today we are going to take a closer look at those differences and how they apply in a situation where you are asked to take a breath test by a police officer. As we mentioned last time, by using your privilege to drive in Arizona you actually consent to a few different things. One of those things is submitting to a breath test when suspected of driving under the influence.
Let's pretend for a moment that you have been pulled over by a police officer who asks you to take a breath test from an Intoxilyzer machine. Under Arizona Law there is an implied consent to submitting to that test. For this example, let's assume that you do submit to the test and the result comes back at a .08 or above. According to this test the officer would find your BAC to be above the legal limit and he/she would be able to issue you an Admin Per Se Affidavit.
This will notify you that your driving privileges will be suspended fifteen days after the Affidavit is issued to you, unless you request a hearing at MVD. It is important to note that this affidavit is an administrative action from the Motor Vehicle Department and separate from the criminal citation you receive which gets filed with the Court. It is easiest to think of them as two separate processes. There is the criminal process that begins with a citation and the MVD process that begins with the Admin Per Se Affidavit.
So now that you have been issued an Admin Per Se Affidavit what happens next? Well, on top of being told that your license will be suspended you will also be told to surrender your actual driver's license or permit. Following this you will be issued a temporary driving permit that is good for fifteen days leading up to your suspension. At this point you are left with a pretty big decision. Should you ask for an MVD hearing about your suspension or should you just take the suspension on the fifteenth day? There are advantages to both decisions. We will explore these advantages next time when we take a closer look at the at the MVD process.