The Dos & Don’ts When You Get Pulled Over for a Possible DUI in Arizona

by 48 Minutes | Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 | 520 views

Suspected DUI in ArizonaIt’s after midnight and a police officer asks you to pull over for some reason. Not surprisingly, they might be thinking that you’ve had some alcoholic drinks in you or are doing illegal stuff. You provide your insurance and driver’s license information. Then they ask point blank if you’ve been drinking because he smells alcohol on you. If you’ve really been drinking, what do you say?

You vs. The Police

Whatever you do, don’t answer the question and politely tell the officer that you’d like to talk to your lawyer. Since the officer alleges that you smell like alcohol, they'll ask you to take some standard sobriety field tests. However, simply because they asked you to do these tests does not automatically mean you have to perform them. Look at it this way, if you do the tests and then the officer records you failing it, you instantly ruin the ability of your lawyer to reduce your charges or win your case.

Aside from the sobriety tests, the officer will most likely ask if they can look inside your vehicle. Stop them immediately. Allowing them access to your vehicle means access to everything inside. This means that if you have some items they think are illegal, they will use them as evidence against you and could lead to a felony conviction. 

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While the officer could obtain a search warrant, if they make any error while doing about their "official" business, Mt. Nebo Law says that a criminal attorney could make the evidence inadmissible in court. Again—you should know what to do by now, but if not—ask to talk to your lawyer.

What About Arizona’s Implied Consent Law?

Arizona’s implied consent law essentially states that anyone driving in the state consents to a blood alcohol or breath test if a law enforcement officer have reason to believe that you’re drunk. Note that the BAC limit for drivers with commercial driver’s license or CDL is 0.04% and not the standard 0.08% for regular drivers.

Know that you can refuse this test, but the catch is the suspension of your license for a year. In addition, undergoing the test will only provide leverage for the prosecution. If you do not have a prior DUI conviction and refused tests, the suspension could reduce. 

The bottom line is to never admit anything and don’t say anything other than you would like to talk to your lawyer. Make sure that your lawyer is as competent as you think they are with DUI cases, though.

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