Most people in Arizona are safe drivers and will not get behind the wheel of a car if they are drunk. Unfortunately, car accidents still occur. If a person is in a car accident that injures or kills someone else and that person is accused of drunk driving, it is important that that person's constitutional rights are not violated.
As the law currently stands, when police suspect an auto accident was caused by a drunk driver, the officer may -- but does not have to -- ask the driver to undergo testing for alcohol or drugs. This is true even in accidents in which another person is seriously injured or dies. Moreover, this request can only be made if there is probable cause to think that the driver was at fault in the accident.
However, some legislators in Arizona are looking to change the current law on this topic. Under Senate Bill 1210, if an auto accident occurs in which someone died, it would be mandatory for police to test the driver for alcohol or drugs if probable cause exists to believe that the driver was at fault. The bill was unanimously passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. It will now move on to the full Senate for a vote.
Some senators, however, are concerned about the constitutionality of the bill. They wonder if the measure is in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects people from "unreasonable searches and seizures." According to one expert, the measure may be in violation of the Constitution.
As things currently stand, this bill is just that -- a bill. It is not yet law. However, it may be of great concern to people who believe the measure is unconstitutional. Those who are wondering how the bill would affect them if they are one day facing DUI charges may want to consult a professional.
Source: azcentral, "Should all drivers who cause fatal car accidents be drug tested?," Kaila White, Feb. 2, 2018