Training Wheels to Automobiles: Analyzing Voluntary Consent for Juvenile Drivers After Butler

In a recent decision, the Arizona Supreme Court held that the age and parental
presence of juvenile drivers are relevant, but not determinative, of whether they
voluntarily consent to a blood draw under the state’s implied consent law. Though
juveniles retain the adult privilege of driver licenses, they must now satisfy only a
juvenile standard for measuring the voluntariness of their consent. While courts
analyze all drivers’ voluntariness by a totality-of-the-circumstances standard, this
Note argues that considering age and parental presence as factors for juvenile
drivers is redundant and overly paternalistic. Such a standard blurs the policy line
between public safety and children’s rights and provides little practical guidance
to law enforcement. Notwithstanding this argument, this Note reviews the
decision’s primary authority and offers suggestions for implementing the Court’s
Butler opinion into practice.