State v. Superior Court (Blake)

In State v. Superior Court (Blake), 149 Ariz. 269, 718 P.2d 171 (1986), a motorist was charged with DUI under the predecessor statute, which made it unlawful for a person with a blood alcohol content ("BAC") of more than .10 to operate a vehicle. Blake concerned whether a horizontal gaze nystagmus test was sufficiently reliable to show probable cause to arrest. The court held that it was, but stated in dicta that so "holding does not mean that evidence of nystagmus is admissible to prove BAC of .10 percent or more in the absence of a laboratory chemical analysis of blood, breath or urine." Id. at 279, 718 P.2d at 181. The court required that "regardless of the quality and abundance of other evidence, a person may not be convicted of a violation of $ (A.R.S. 28-1381(A)(2) without chemical analysis of blood, breath or urine showing a proscribed blood alcohol content." Id. The Arizona Supreme Court said that roadside sobriety tests are limited searches. 149 Ariz. at 274, 718 P.2d at 176. Sobriety tests require only reasonable suspicion, not probable cause, to comply with the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Id. at 273-74, 718 P.2d at 175-76. "Roadside sobriety tests that do not involve long delay or unreasonable intrusion, although searches under the fourth amendment, may be justified by an officer's reasonable suspicion (based on specific, articulable facts) that the driver is intoxicated." Id. at 274, 718 P.2d at 176.