Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) hearings occur in civil court and are presented in front of an Administrative Law Judge rather than a jury. It’s easier for police to prove probable cause against you in a civil setting, rather than in criminal court, making a huge difference to you, the defendant. There are different types of MVD hearings that vary depending on the nature of the suspension.
AT DUI MVD hearings, the officer involved is subpoenaed to testify against the defendant. Even if the case is ultimately is proven, your license will not be suspended immediately after the hearing. If the Administrative Law Judge upholds the license suspension, it will usually begin 45 days from the date of the order.
These MVD hearings to take action against your privilege to drive in the State of Arizona are separate from the criminal prosecution of driving under the influence. If you refused testing or provided blood, breath or urine samples when you were pulled over, the police will issue an “Administrative Per Se / Implied Consent Affidavit”, which notifies you that you have just 15 days from the date the notice of suspension is served to request an MVD hearing. If you comply, the suspension is postponed until a hearing is held. Conversely, if you fail to submit a timely request, your license will automatically be suspended for 90 days if you submitted to the test and registered .08 BAC or higher, or for one year if you refused the testing.
Administrative Per Se Hearings
An Administrative Per Se hearing focuses on the following issues:
- Whether the officer had reasonable suspicion to believe the defendant was driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol;
- Whether the defendant was arrested for DUI, DWI, Extreme DWI or Aggravated DUI;
- Whether the blood or breath test showed a .08 BAC;
- Whether the testing device used was valid and reliable; and
- Whether the test results were accurately evaluated.
Implied Consent Hearings
Anyone arrested for a DUI offense is presumed to have given consent to a breath, blood or urine test for determining BAC. If you are stopped and the officer requests that you take the test, you must comply or you will lose your license for 12 months.