The answer is yes. In Arizona, a law enforcement officer can arrest you for DUI as long as they have “probable cause.” This means they don’t necessarily have to prove that you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, only that it was probable.
For example, let’s say a police officer pulls a suspect over for speeding. As the officer interacts with the suspect, he notices that they show signs of being intoxicated, such as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech or the smell of alcohol. At that point, the officer might ask a few strategic questions designed to get the suspect to admit that they’ve been drinking. They also ask questions to get the person talking – slurred speech or incoherent ramblings can be used to show inebriation.
From there, the officer might ask the suspect to step out of the car to perform field sobriety tests. These tests can sometimes be difficult to complete even when someone has had nothing to drink at all, but can be very telling if they have been drinking.
A DUI suspect might also be asked to take a Breathalyzer test. At this point, even if the suspect refuses, the officer may feel that they have enough cause to place you under arrest. Once under arrest, you will then be asked to submit to a blood test to determine your BAC.
Refusing a sobriety test doesn’t ensure that you won’t be arrested. The officer only needs to feel that they have probable cause.
Experienced DUI attorneys like Charlie Naegle will continue to advise people not to submit to sobriety tests and not to talk more than they need to when being pulled over by an officer. This is because talking and willingly taking sobriety tests only helps a law enforcement officer build a stronger case against you. The more evidence they have, the more likely they are to arrest.
As a DUI suspect, you don’t have to help an officer by giving them more probably cause. Talk as little as possible. Be respectful, but don’t open up and start incriminating yourself. Refuse sobriety tests. You may still be arrested, but there’s nothing in the officer’s report about failed sobriety tests.
If you have more questions about DUI arrests, feel free to give us a call at Naegle & Crider Criminal Defense Attorneys. DUI lawyer Charlie Naegle has successfully defended dozens of DUI clients and is ready to help you as well.