“This article gives us some important tips which we should follow if and when we are stopped for a DUI in Arizona.”
Alcohol has a tremendous impact upon our judgment, perception and vital motor skills which are essential for driving safely. Driving a vehicle when you are not sober can be extremely challenging and involves risking the life of not only your own but others who are travelling with you. If an officer finds you guilty of improper driving, along with slurred speech, strong odor of alcohol and other kinds of incoherent behavior, you may be subjected to field sobriety testing. Once you display improper motor skills during the field test, the officer might ask you to undergo the BAC or blood alcohol content test. Failing this will result in being arrested with the charges of a DUI or a DWI.
If you are stopped for a DUI in Arizona, your first offense will subject you to the loss of your license for one year. You have to also undertake a federally mandated outpatient alcohol abuse program and probation. Multiple DUI charges will be prosecuted with complete adherence to law, which can vary from state to state. Finally, if your negligence causes a fatal accident, you will be immediately prosecuted with the charges of vehicle manslaughter irrespective of first or second DUI offence.
Arizona has several laws to prohibit people from driving if they are not quite sober. The legal limit in this state is 0.8 %. Therefore it is best not to touch your steering wheels when there is even a little amount of alcohol in your system. However, if you are still daring enough, here are a few tips that can guide you if you are stopped for a DUI in Arizona:
- Provide Identification Proof: You will be asked to provide your driver’s license and registration papers. If you fumble and cannot find them easily, it may go against you.
- Polite refusal to undertake field tests: You might be asked to do things like walking the line, counting on your fingers, touching your finger to your nose, etc as field tests. Although there is no such legal compulsion to undertake these tests, many officers might force you for it. You should politely refuse to undertake them as these might be used as evidences against you.
- Polite refusal to answer questions: You should not utter a word in the absence of your lawyer. In case of a DUI stop, you should politely refuse to answer any question. You do not have to immediately ask for a lawyer at that place but the constitutional rights effectively protect you from any kind of interrogation even after the reading of Miranda rights.
- Agree to Breath, Urine and BAC tests: Under the Implied Consent Law, you have agreed to undergo breath, urine and BAC tests whenever necessary while driving on the roads, when you applied for a driver’s license. If you refuse to take these tests, your license may be suspended for a year or so, even if you are not convicted of DUI. So you should not hesitate to take these tests and if the result is more than 0.8%, your license will be suspended for 30-90 days.
- Get your own medical results: As soon as you are released, you should go to a hospital and take all the tests yourself. These results will help you fight your case in case of wrong accusations and charges based on faulty evidence.
In such cases, you must always cooperate with the officers because your disposition, attitude and appearance will indicate your alcohol consumption level. However being polite and having a good conduct does not mean you have to answer their questions. Therefore if you are stopped for a DUI in Arizona, you must hire a good attorney who will appear in the court on your behalf, interrogate the officer, gather records, prepare motions, and negotiate with the prosecutor.
Author Bio: Howard Snader is a lawyer and here he states the important guidelines to be followed if and when we are stopped for a DUI in Arizona.