Those charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) in the state of Arizona face severe fines and possible jail time, even if it is your first offense. Those charged with DUI are often also charged with other crimes, such as aggravated assault or attempting to resist arrest. Rather than adding on potential charges, there are a few steps you can take if pulled over for a DUI that may help you when dealing with law enforcement officers.
The first step is to find a safe place to pull over. Do not attempt to flee or begin a police chase. This will only add to the potential charges you face. Provide your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. There is no reason for you to try and engage the officer in a conversation. The officer will ask you if you have been drinking, what you have been drinking, and where you were drinking. You are under no obligation to answer these questions and generally should not. Rather, you can politely state “I have been advised to never answer these types of questions and I do not wish to do so.” Generally, any answer, including admitting to consuming alcohol before driving, will only hurt your case, not help it.
You are also under no obligation to take a field sobriety test, and may refuse to take them if offered. These tests are difficult for sober people to successfully complete, so it is important to not attempt the test if you have been drinking. Your actions during the test can be used against you.
A Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) can also be offered to you. This test requires you to blow into a hand-held device. This device will then estimate your impairment level. The results of this test can also be used against you. If you have only consumed one drink, and know you are under the legal limit, it may be acceptable for you to take this test. Often times, officers will release those who have a low reading.
If you are arrested, an officer will ask you to take a chemical test. According to Arizona’s Implied Consent Law, you are required to take this test once arrested. If you do not agree to the test, you will be forced to take it. By refusing this required test, the consequences of your DUI could be amplified.
As with any crime, you have the right to a criminal defense attorney during the course of the traffic stop and subsequent arrest. If you are stopped for DUI and know you are impaired, it is imperative that you contact your criminal defense attorney. The Law Offices of Alex Lane in Phoenix, Arizona, represent those who have been charged with crimes, including DUI cases. If you find yourself facing DUI charges, call the Law Offices of Alex Lane immediately.