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The best advice anyone could ever offer to avoid a DUI is to not ever drink and drive under any circumstances!!
However, despite this helpful advice, thousands of Arizona residents will be pulled over at some point in their lives for suspicion of driving under the influence. Here is a list of common tips compiled by Arizona DUI attorneys:
1) Safely pull over as soon as possible and remain calm.
One of the very first things police officers look at when pulling over a suspected DUI driver, is their judgment and ability to pull over in an appropriate place. Resist the urge to be nervous and try to relax. Do NOT stop in traffic or do anything that would show you are being unsafe. Be aware that if you take too long to pull over, the police might assume that you took too long because you were too drunk to notice them attempting to pull you over.
2) It is better to say as little as possible.
Certain things must be provided to the police officer, such as: your name, your license, your registration and all vehicle insurance information. You have NO OBLIGATION to answer any additional questions. Resist the urge to defend yourself and NEVER admit that you have had anything to drink, even if it was only a few sips. Politely tell the officer, “I’ve been advised to not answer these types of questions and I don’t wish to do so at this time.” At this point the officer may continue to push for answers. Respectfully refuse to answer any and all questions. Do not ask for an attorney yet.
3) Refuse to take any Field Sobriety Tests.
Officers do not usually tell you that you have the right to refuse to take field sobriety tests. Be aware that you have the right to refuse any and all tests offered by the officer when they pull you over. Firmly but politely refuse to take any tests offered. Regardless of how well you perform these, officers can always find some way to interpret them in their favor.
4) Refuse any Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) Tests.
A PBT is a handheld device used during a DUI traffic stop to gauge how much alcohol you have consumed. The DUI suspect is asked to blow into the device and it typically gives a number estimating how much alcohol is present in your blood stream. However, many experts agree that the PBT device is unreliable. Moreover, this device is considered so unreliable, that its results cannot be offered as evidence in court.
5) Politely but firmly ask to speak to a lawyer immediately.
Police officers must give you the chance to talk to an attorney if you make a reasonable request for one. Be sure the officer who stops you puts this request in his case notes.
6) Take Chemical Test AFTER Arrest
If the officer decides to arrest you for DUI, you will be asked to take a chemical test (blood, breath or urine). DO NOT refuse to take this test. Arizona’s implied consent law offers up some pretty severe consequences if you refuse to take this test.
7) Be Polite, Courteous, and Cooperative.
Despite polite refusals to take the field tests or to answer any additional questions, it is extremely important that you are polite, cooperative and courteous at all times with the police officer. Police officers have lots of discretion when the make DUI stops. Yes, they have pulled you over, but they also have the power to: let you go if they choose, let you call someone to come pick you up, let you leave your car at the scene instead of towing it, and go easy on you in their written DUI report, so be nice!
8) Write down everything you can remember as soon as you can.
Your attorney will need to create a detailed timeline of everything you did before, during and after your DUI arrest while the information is still fresh in your mind. Attorneys also recommend saving any receipts from purchases of food and alcohol around the time of your arrest, and creating a list of witnesses who were with you prior to your arrest.
Because it can have the power to change your life dramatically, a DUI conviction should never be taken lightly. Especially during this busy holiday season, Arizona police are cracking down on drivers who operate their vehicles under the influence of alcohol. If you or someone you know has been stopped for a DUI, there is no time to wait. You need an experienced DUI attorney that knows Arizona law who will confidently and aggressively fight for your rights. Here at The Weingart Firm we pride ourselves in working hard for each client and getting the best possible outcome for every case. Call us today for a free consultation!