Being Arrested In Arizona For DUI Is No Fun.
If you are suspected of DUI in Arizona, the police will spend some
time observing your vehicle while you are driving. The police must
have just cause to pull you over. The legitimacy of “the stop”
is a common target for DUI lawyers.
Some common indicators include:
a) Turning With Wide Radious
b) Almost Striking An Object
d) Appearing To Be Drunk
f) Driving Far Below The Speed Limit
g) Stopping Without Reason
i) Tires On Lane Marker
j) Signaling Inconsistent With Driving Actions
If the police officer feels that there is a legitimate reason, they
will flash their red and blue lights and pull your vehicle over.
During this time they will observe how quickly you react to their
lights. If you react slowly or break traffic laws in the process,
the police officer will make notes on this and use it as evidence
against you in court.
Once you have safely pulled off the road, the officer will approach
your vehicle and proceed with initial questioning such as “Where
are you coming from?”, “Did you have anything to drink
tonight?”, or “Did you know that you – while you
were driving?”. It is important to remember that Arizona
DUI law does not require you to answer these questions. Even
though you might be taken to jail as a result, it is usually in
your best interests to politely inform the officer that you would
like to exercise your right to remain silent. You may also request
to speak with a DUI lawyer
at this time. During the initial questioning, the police officer
is collecting evidence against you. Everything you say can be used
against you in a court of law. In addition, any observations that
the officer makes such the appearance of bloodshot eyes, the odor
of alcohol and/or open containers may be used as evidence against
Driver’s License, Vehicle
and Proof of Insurance
It is standard practice for the police officer to ask to see your
Driver’s License, Vehicle Registration and Proof of Insurance.
Arizona law requires that your carry these items at all times while
you are driving. If you cannot provide all of these items, you may
receive an additional citation. The police officer will take notes
on how efficiently you locate these items. If you have a difficult
time locating these items and fumble around the officer will make
note of this and enter it into the report.
Field Sobriety Tests
Arizona DUI law does not require you to complete field sobriety
tests. However, the officer will ask you to volunteer. Many people
think that taking the field sobriety tests will help them by showing
that they are not impaired. This is not at all true! Even someone
that was not drinking at all would have a difficult time passing
these tests. Furthermore, your performance on these tests just adds
to the mounting evidence against you. Therefore, it is usually in
your best interests to decline when asked if you are willing to
take the field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests usually include
walking on a straight line, standing on one leg while counting to
ten, touching your nose, and following a light beam with your eyes.
If you have any medical conditions that would prevent you from successful
performing the test(s) requirements and you choose to attempt them
be sure to inform the officer of your condition.
Blood, Breath, or Urine Tests
Once the officer has collected all the evidence they need at the
scene, you will be transported to the police station, hospital,
or a DUI processing station (usually a van) where you will need
to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test. In Arizona, refusal
to take these tests will result in an automatic 1-year suspension
of your driver’s license. If you were stopped in Phoenix,
you will be asked to blow into a machine called the Intoxilizer
5000. The Intoxilizer 5000 is known to be unreliable and is
often the corner stone for defense. If you feel that the test results
yielded inaccurate results, you may have a blood test administered
at a nearby hospital. Blood test(s) give much more accurate results.
Most other cities in Arizona have moved away from using the Intoxilizer
5000 and administer blood test(s).
“…you have the right to remain silent, anything you
say can and will be used against you in a court of law…”.
As it states, Miranda is your right not to answer questions or speak
with police without an attorney present. Police must read you your
Miranda rights if they intend to question you after you have been
placed under arrest or are otherwise detained. Unfortunately, many
people make the mistake of assuming that the police cannot question
you without reading you your rights first. You do have the right
to remain silent at all times, however, police are not required
to read you these rights until after you have been arrested. Therefore,
the police will probably not read you your rights until after they
have received your breath, blood, or urine test results.
If your test results show a blood alcohol level above Arizona’s
legal limit of 0.08, you will receive a citation for DUI. Your Arizona
driver’s license along with the key to your vehicle will be
confiscated. (You may pick up your key at the police station ten
hours after receiving the citation.) You’ll then be given
a packet including your citation and released. A friend, family
member, or taxi will need to be contacted so that they can give
you with a ride home.