AZ Supreme Court demands police change DUI tactics

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Attorneys weigh in on a court ruling regarding Arizona's DUI law (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Attorneys weigh in on a court ruling regarding Arizona's DUI law (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
One Valley attorney believes the ruling has big implications on past and future DUI cases (Source: KPHO/KTVK) One Valley attorney believes the ruling has big implications on past and future DUI cases (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona is known for having some of the toughest DUI laws.

But this week, the state Supreme Court demanded that law enforcement officers make changes to the way they collect evidence when they suspect someone is driving under the influence.

"Essentially the court said for the past 10 years, police have gotten it wrong, they've used coercive tactics," said attorney Mark DuBiel.

Before Tuesday, if you got pulled over, some police officers may have asked for a blood sample, saying state law requires it. While one can lose their license for a year if they say no, the court just ruled that officers can now only remind suspects of the law after they refuse. 

"Every time an officer pulls you over, they can't go to the old script they've been using, saying, 'Arizona law requires you to do something,'" DuBiel said.

He added that he believes the high court's decision has big implications for past and future cases. 

"Folks should visit with their lawyers, and current cases that are old should be looked at for that," DuBiel said.

"If a traffic stop and actual test is done with the old form in good faith, it may be accepted by the court," said Alberto Gutier with the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

He said he does not think this affects past convictions.

"They're not going to go backwards," Gutier said. "If they do, that's the way it is."

He said law enforcement across the state just got briefed on what they can and cannot say. He added that if someone refuses to give a blood sample, the officer can still get a search warrant, which in Maricopa County only takes about 10 minutes.

"They want to arrest somebody to protect everybody else, and to protect everybody else means to go by the book and they do," Gutier said.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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