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If you are stopped by a police officer on suspicion of driving under the influence, it’s important to understand your legal rights. Keep in mind that the officer is investigating a potential crime, and you do not have an obligation to incriminate yourself. The less you say and do, the less probable cause the officer has to continue the investigation. You must cooperate with requests to produce your license, registration, and proof of insurance, and you are also obligated to submit to a physical search for weapons, but your response to further questions and requests should be to ask to consult an attorney. It is your right to speak to a lawyer before submitting to a breath or blood test. If you are arrested, ask to speak to an attorney immediately.
In a DUI case, an arresting police office must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an accused drunk driver was in “actual physical control” of the vehicle. This question typically arises when the accused is found asleep in the vehicle. The legal debate surrounds his or her “intent” to drive or to stop and sleep off the effects of alcohol, whether or not the key is found in the ignition, or whether the engine is running. An appeals court decision has held that physical control does not mean “potential” control. The Weingart Firm is experienced at successfully defending this and all aspects DUI charges.
The Implied Consent law in Arizona requires drivers arrested for DUI to take a blood, breath, or urine test. If you refuse to submit to any of these tests, the penalties include suspension of your license for a year. Law enforcement officers will usually ask (and sometimes insist) that you take the roadside, portable breath test, and it is important to know that you can refuse to take this test. It is your right to request to speak to a lawyer before taking any kind of chemical test of your blood alcohol count. If you are under arrest for DUI, before taking a breath, blood, or urine test, call the Arizona DUI experts at The Weingart Firm.
An officer who pulls you over for suspected drunk driving is in the business of gathering information to document probable cause for your arrest. With probable cause, you can be compelled to submit to a test to determine your blood alcohol count. Field sobriety tests are one method the police use to attempt to gather evidence against you, but these tests are unreliable, and you can lawfully refuse to take them in any form. Remember that you always have the right to request to phone an attorney at the scene. If you have been arrested and already submitted to a field sobriety test, our experienced DUI attorneys will move to challenge the results and suppress this “evidence.”
Anyone arrested on suspicion of DUI must submit to a test to determine his or her blood alcohol count (BAC). The arresting police officer has the prerogative to choose which test to administer at the police station or local hospital, most commonly a blood test or breath test. The reliability of both of these tests has been successfully challenged in court. If you are arrested, you have a right to speak to a lawyer before submitting to a chemical test. Mark Weingart is a founding member of the National College of DUI Defense and a national lecturer on DUI defense and the science of BAC testing. Call The Weingart Firm first.
In Arizona, there is zero tolerance for drinking and driving under the age of 21. If an 18–20 year old has a blood alcohol count over .08%, he or she may receive a conviction for a traditional DUI. If a teenager is under 18, the case may end up in Juvenile Court with mandatory detention. At The Weingart Firm, we fight hard for our young clients, with a goal of a “not guilty” verdict, or working out a compromise to minimize the long-term consequences.