If you get pulled over for a DUI in Arizona, you have rights that you need to know about. You have choices that you can make. Granted, the police have actions they need to take as a response to your actions, but that is just how the balance is kept. You are expected to be polite and complicit with police under all circumstances. However, that does not mean you have to subject yourself to their testing or searches. You have the option of saying no, and there are times where that is actually the best response to provide.
What to Do First if You Are Pulled Over for an Arizona DUI
The very first thing you do if you see lights flashing behind you is to pull over safely and carefully. If you have your seatbelt on, do not touch it. Let them see that you have it on when they approach the window. Do not get out of the car, either. You want to stay put and speak politely with the officer to figure out what the problem is. Trying to put your seatbelt on now would not do you any good, and would be noticed, so don’t try. If you did not have it on, face the consequences on that one.
Next, the officer will want to see who you are and if you own the vehicle. You will need to find your license and the car’s registration. If you have a minute while the officer is walking up to the car, look around and think clearly about where these items are. Do not look for them, just think about their location. How quickly and concisely you find these s will help the officers decide if you appear under the influence.
Also, no matter what, cooperate with whatever the officer asks of you. This does not mean that you have to give him or her permission to do whatever they want. What it does mean is that you listen to their questions, have a pleasant attitude, and talk appropriately. If you look disheveled, this will indicate intoxication. However, if you keep a calm and level head, this can look better in your favor.
You Have Rights When Pulled Over for an Arizona DUI
You have the right to refuse all field sobriety tests the officer’s request you take. This includes counting on your fingers, reciting your ABCs, staring at the light and following it with your eyes, walking a straight line, and touching your index finger to the tip of your nose. There is no law saying that you have to do these tests, so do not do them. All you are doing, whether sober or not, is giving them evidence that they may use against you later. You will likely hear that they will take you to jail should you refuse to do the tests. If they go so far as to say that, then they were going to bring you there anyway, so ignore the threat.
You also have the right to refuse to answer anything without an attorney present. When speaking with the officers, you will likely be asked several questions. They want to trip you up and get you to confess to having been drinking. Instead, only respond with a polite answer staying you can only provide answers to their questions under the advice of your attorney. This even includes if they read you your Miranda rights. Repeat the same answer, while still cooperating with the officers. You can keep a calm, positive appearance during this entire event, which will help your case should you go to court. Just remain cooperative and give them as little information to use against you as possible.
When pulled over for a DUI in Arizona, contact a lawyer right away. They will help navigate you through the process and advise you on the next steps after getting a DUI.
What About Your Vehicle if You Are Pulled Over for an Arizona DUI?
Another right you have is to refuse the search of your vehicle. If the officers see that there is something awry in your vehicle, they will go through and get a warrant. You will likely hear officers ask you in a roundabout way to look through your vehicle. This may sound more like a rhetorical question, but you need to give permission for them to do it. Do not give them permission. No matter what they may find, it is not going to help or hurt you to say no now. Make them go through the proper legal channels to find whatever may be in there. It is your right. You may also want to request that they put your denial of the search into their report. That way, should you need it, your statement can help you when you are in court.
You Also Have Rights to Protect Yourself When Pulled Over for an Arizona DUI
There are other rights that you have that are important to know when pulled over for an Arizona DUI, as they protect you. First, if you are given the opportunity for a urine, blood, or breath test, take it. You want to do this because you already agreed to this simply by getting your license. This is called the Implied Consent Law, which you agreed to the day you got your driver’s license. By refusing this test, you lose a lot of rights, and you will face at least 12 months of a suspended license, like it or not.
You also want to make sure that you always keep a sample for a second test when asked. Typically, you will be given a waiver that asks if you would like to preserve some part of the sample taken for your test. Make sure that you preserve it. This way, you can have the test done again if you ever need to. Plus, as soon as the police release you, get to a hospital or your physician’s office and have another test done. This way you can keep track of what your levels are. Should the hospital or doctor get a lower result, then you can provide that evidence to the judge.
Arizona DUIs Can Be Difficult to Recover From, Let Us Help
If you get pulled over for an Arizona DUI, you have rights. However, if you made a mistake, you also need to correct that mistake. Turn to the experienced professionals here at Alcohol Screening Arizona. Call us today at (602) 687-9481.
Let us help you get your life back on track.