Arizona DUI Guide: How to Handle a DUI in Arizona
Getting pulled over while your blood alcohol content is above the legal limit is not the end of the road for you. There are things you can do to avoid an Arizona DUI charge and conviction. The steps that you take during and after your traffic stop will matter immensely in your case and your chances of avoiding a conviction.
Should you ever need this information, here are the key steps you should take. We’ll also cover things you should not do as part of the process in order to best protect your rights. Arizona law protects your rights and freedoms from being compromised during these situations. Here’s a look at the actions you should and shouldn’t take.
What you should do during an Arizona DUI traffic stop
If you’re pulled over and the police suspects a DUI, it’s crucial that you take these steps.
- Invoke your right to remain silent. Law enforcement is required to inform you of this right. If you choose to speak during the process, anything you say can be used against you. You might not be in the best state of mind to discuss things with law enforcement so it’s in your best interest to remain silent until your Arizona DUI attorney is present.
- Take the time to get familiar with the penalties that you’re being charged with. After your initial traffic stop, you are not convicted of a crime yet but there will be effects on your license. Be sure to read everything carefully and follow the restrictions appropriately. This is why it’s a good idea to hire an Arizona DUI attorney immediately following a DUI charge.
- Appear at your court date and hearing. If you don’t you could face further penalties and will have a harder time pleading your case. Be sure to discuss these required dates with your attorney to ensure you know when and where you must appear.
- Remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. No one aspect of your traffic stop or chemical test makes your case a slam dunk for the prosecution. Take everything one day at a time and be confident in the work your Arizona DUI attorney is doing for you.
Click here for information from the Arizona Department of Transportation regarding driving under the influence.
What you should NOT in the case of an Arizona DUI traffic stop
- You should not delay requesting a Motor Vehicle Department hearing. This hearing determines your driving privileges and whether or not to revoke your license. It is separate from the criminal hearing related to your DUI arrest. Failure to request this hearing means your license is automatically suspended pending your court date.
- Do not refuse to take a chemical test. Arizona law states that it is illegal for individuals to say no to a chemical test. While it can be evidence against you, you are required to undergo a chemical test. These possible tests include a breath, urine or blood test. However, know your rights. You are only required to agree to such a test after you have been arrested.
- Fleeing the scene is a very bad idea. Seeing police lights in your rearview even after having only one alcoholic beverage can make you extremely nervous. However, fleeing instead of pulling over as the officer requests you to do will only make matters worse and can make the charges against you more severe.
- Do NOT for any reason admit fault, even if your chemical test points toward a DUI. Remember your right to remain silent because you do not want to make any admission of guilt.
The best step you can take toward proving your innocence in an Arizona DUI situation is hiring an experienced attorney to guide you through the process.