DUI Checkpoints are becoming a more common sight throughout the Phoenix Arizona area as Law Enforcement Agencies work to catch drivers under the influence of alcohol. These checkpoints are strategically placed at locations and times where there tends to be the highest percentage of drunk drivers on the road. Depending on the night, the officers might stop every car or a specific pattern of cars in order to check the sobriety of the drivers.
Knowing your rights if you are ever stopped at one of these checkpoints can help you avoid delays and possible jail time. It’s also important to show respect to the officers conducting the stop.
Here are a few things to remember if you are stopped for DUI:
- If a police officer asks to search your car, you can refuse. If he/she is asking, that most likely means they don’t have legal grounds to search your car. If you are ordered to get out of your car, lock the doors behind you.
- You do have the right to avoid any questioning without an attorney present. In fact, you should ask to speak with a DUI attorney immediately. This can have a major impact on the evidence the officer is able to obtain.
- As mentioned before, it’s important to still be respectful and courteous to the officer. You should show your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance.
- You do have the right to refuse to perform any field sobriety tests such as walking a straight line, touching your nose or reciting the alphabet. You should also refuse to take the eye test. Refusing to perform these tests reduces the cause for arrest.
- Don’t agree to answer any questions or be videotaped during the stop. The officers at the scene will try any way they can to gather evidence that will support their case against you. The less you give them, the less they have to work against you.
- You might be asked to take a breath alcohol test as well. There are 2 types of breath tests – the portable breath test and the Intoxilyzer 8000 (usually found at the station or in a DUI van). You do have the right to refuse this test as well, but the consequences of refusing the breath alcohol test are just as severe as a DUI in some cases including a one year automatic license suspension. You can ask to be released to obtain an independent blood test at a hospital.
The best thing you can do when you get stopped for DUI at a DUI checkpoint is to ask to speak with your lawyer and then give Naegle & Crider Criminal Defense Attorneys a call immediately. Charlie Naegle is an experienced Arizona DUI attorney and serves clients all over the Phoenix area, including Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe.