DUI Tips Every Arizona Driver can Benefit From
An Arizonan loses his or her life every single day as a result of drunk driving. More than 10,000 Arizonans have passed away since 2015 due to the negligence of drivers who assume they can drive safely after consuming alcohol. This is precisely why Arizona’s DUI laws are especially harsh. The last thing you need is a DUI conviction that turns your life upside down. If you are pulled over for a supposed DUI, abide by the tips detailed below and you will have done your part to avoid penalty.
Say Less Rather Than More
It is always better to say less than more when interacting with police officers during a DUI stop. If the police officer inquires about your whereabouts prior to driving, who you were with, why you are driving and where you are going, do not reveal any information. If you answer such questions, the information you present will be used against you in a court of law. Even the slightest verbal misstep can lead to self-incrimination.
Listen Closely to the Police Officer
If the police officer alleges you are drunk, high or otherwise inebriated, he or she will arrest you and possibly take you to the police station for a breathalyzer test and/or blood testing. However, some police officers forget or simply refuse to read the Miranda Rights to drivers they arrest. The failure to Mirandize such an arrest just might help get your case thrown out of court or pled down. So be sure to listen closely to every single word the police officer utters.
Create Your Own Police Report
Police officers usually attempt to write up their reports in the immediate aftermath of the arrest. This report will detail the cause for the traffic stop, the events that led up to the field sobriety test and note the final result. Do not assume the police report is accurate. Police officers tend to view those suspected of DUI as statistics rather than actual human beings. Write down exactly what happened before, during and after your interaction with the police officer as soon as possible. If your written report is detailed and accurate, it just might be enough to question the validity of the police officer’s report.
Do not Defend Yourself
It takes considerable skill to combat DUI cases as the stakes are high and the law is complicated. Your life chances are at stake so do not attempt to represent yourself in a court of law in a pro se manner. Prosecutors will seize the opportunity to do legal battle with you in court, poke holes in your argument and ultimately send you to jail. Some prosecutors even go as far as mocking the defenses raised to show up the defendant and persuade the judge to levy a harsh penalty. The bottom line is you need an experienced and hardworking Arizona DUI attorney in your corner to have any chance of emerging with justice.
You Have the Right to Decline a Field Sobriety Test
The police officer who pulls you over will likely request you perform field sobriety tests if he or she suspects you are drunk or high. However, you are not legally obligated to participate in any such field sobriety tests. Arizona strictly limits the required tests to breath, blood and urine. If the police officer forces you to partake in such field testing, you will need a savvy attorney on your side to argue for the charge to be dismissed due to coercion or entrapment.
Request Independent Blood Testing
Even if you refuse a breathalyzer test, the police officer might obtain a warrant to draw blood after you have been placed in jail. If such a warrant is obtained, it is in your best interest to ask for an independent test to be performed at an unbiased lab. A blood sample showing an elevated level of alcohol, marijuana or another drug is sufficient to prove your guilt. However, there is no guarantee the police department will obtain the warrant for the blood test. Furthermore, the police department might alter the results or flat-out lie about the blood alcohol concentration level.
Click here for information on how to trick a breathalyzer in Arizona.