Arizona law is tough on those arrested and charged with DUI. The state’s “zero-tolerance” stance against driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol continues to lead to thousands of DUI arrests each year and includes penalties that are much more strict compared to other states in the country.
Being pulled over for a suspected DUI can be a very tense situation and is likely to cause stress whether you’ve been drinking or not. Because we live in a state that is so harsh on DUI offenders, it’s a good idea to have an idea of what to expect and what to do if you are pulled over. Here are 5 important things to remember in case you are pulled over for DUI:
1. BE POLITE
It’s not uncommon these days to see a video or hear a news story in which the person being pulled over by the police is shown arguing with the officers or quizzing them about their rights. This is not a good idea when it comes to a DUI incident. When you are pulled over for DUI, it’s best to be polite. You don’t have to go overboard, but don’t make the situation worse by being rude or short with the officers. There is a way to be polite without incriminating yourself.
2. TALK AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE
This point goes hand in hand with being polite. When an officer pulls you over for suspected DUI, they are looking for every scrap of evidence they can that gives them cause to arrest you. If you have been drinking and begin talking to the officer, you can easily be giving the officer the evidence they need. It might be your slurred speech, the smell of your breath or even an unwilling confession. Speak as little as possible.
3. FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS ARE A CHOICE
Once a police officer has pulled you over for suspected DUI, they may ask you to perform one of several field sobriety tests. It’s important to understand that you can refuse these tests. They are voluntary and you don’t have to do them just because the officer tells you to. Instead, politely decline and ask to speak with your attorney.
4. BLOOD ALCOHOL TEST
If you are arrested for DUI, you will at some point be required to do a blood alcohol test to determine how much alcohol you have in your system. While you do have the right to refuse this test, it doesn’t do you much good. If you do refuse to take a blood test, the law enforcement agency can quickly obtain a warrant that allows them to conduct the test anyway. Refusing to take the test will result in a mandatory one-year suspension of your driving privileges.
5. CALL AN ATTORNEY ASAP
If you are arrested and charged with a DUI, the sooner you are in contact with a Mesa DUI attorney, the better. Your attorney can take specific steps that may alter the outcome of your case, such as collecting evidence and challenging test results. Remember that timing is everything, and the longer you wait to contact your attorney narrows their ability to help. You have a RIGHT to an attorney. Make sure you use that right.
If you or someone you love has been recently been arrested for DUI, call Naegle Law Firm right away at (480) 378-9000. There is absolutely no cost and no obligation to review your case with Mesa DUI attorney Charlie Naegle and consultations are often available immediately or same day.