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How to handle a DUI arrest in Arizona

Arizona DUI Laws:

  • In general, it is a violation of Arizona DUI laws to drive (or be in actual physical control of a vehicle) under the following circumstances:
  • Under the age of 21 with any amount of alcohol in the body.
  • At least 21 and impaired in the slightest, even if the blood alcohol concentration is less than .08 percent.
  • At least 21 with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher.
  • At least 21, driving a commercial vehicle, with a blood alcohol concentration of .04 percent or higher.
  • Having any amount of drugs or their metabolites in the body, without a valid prescription.

Do not do any of the above.

If you are ever suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), there are things you should and should not do to try to avoid a conviction or reduce the charges or penalties.

Things You SHOULD Do:

  • Open your window, but only enough to provide your license, registration, and insurance documents.
  • Turn off the ignition.
  • Keep your hands in plain view of the officer.
  • Tell your passengers to keep quiet and keep their hands in plain view of the officer.
  • Show your driver license, registration, and proof of insurance if police request them.
  • Remain business-like and polite.
  • Insist that you want to consult your attorney in response to every other request by police.

Things You Should NOT Do:

  • Do not admit to anything; anything you say can and will be used against you; respond only that, “I want my attorney, and I invoke my right to remain silent”.
  • Do not answer questions about where you were, or where you were going,respond only that, “I want my attorney, and I invoke my right to remain silent”.
  • Do not answer questions about what you had to eat or drink, respond only that, “I want my attorney, and I invoke my right to remain silent”.
  • Do not consent to any searches; Politely tell police, “I do not consent to being searched”.
  • Do not try to stop police if they try to search your car or possessions without consent; If you attempt to physically intercede, you might be injured, and find yourself charged with disorderly conduct, assault, or other crimes.

Refuse the Field Sobriety Test

Police may ask you to submit to a field sobriety test (FST). Their request may seem like a command. You should refuse. There are several reasons for this. FSTs are inherently subjective and could be used to support a mistaken accusation of being intoxicated. It is possible to fail an FST for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with whether or  not you have alcohol in your system. Poor performance on an FST could be due to stress, fatigue, or health conditions. The officer’s goal in administering an FST is to gather evidence against you. If police suspect you are inebriated, they will use the FST to confirm what they already believe to be true. If they already believe you are DUI, police will arrest you, whether you submit to the FST or not. If they don’t have enough to arrest you for DUI, submitting to the FST may give them enough evidence to support the arrest.

Don’t Refuse the Blood Alcohol Concentration Test

If police order you to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), you should comply. The consequences of refusing are particularly harsh in Arizona, including that your driving license will be suspended for a year. Further, the officer may obtain a search warrant to still make you submit to BAC testing. Finally, you could still be convicted of DUI without a chemical test. The prosecutor may argue that the reason you refused to submit the BAC test was that you knew you were intoxicated. Therefore, it is generally in your best interest to comply when police ask you to submit to a BAC test. When you submit, demand a second sample be preserved for testing by an independent lab.

In Summary

Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country. If you are ever charged with DUI, you want to consult with an experienced DUI attorney, at the first opportunity, to maximize the chances and opportunities for a strong defense. From the start of any police encounter until its conclusion, you should ask for your attorney, and invoke your right to remain silent. If there is a chance you might need an attorney in the future, establish the relationship now, and keep your attorney’s card with you at all times.

What To Do Next:

If you’ve never needed an attorney before, finding the right one may seem daunting. We listen, educate, and guide you to an informed decision.

Arizona Traffic Lawyer Michael Kielsky is a Criminal Law, DUI, and Traffic Ticket attorney, recognized as a leader in providing efficient, creative, and diligent representation. When faced with a threat to your way of life, your liberty, or your property call us to discuss your options.

Contact our experienced Criminal Law team if you or someone you love faces criminal or traffic charges at: Kielsky Rike pllc or by calling us: 480.626.5415

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