Every year law enforcement agencies across the State of Arizona participate in special DUI task forces and checkpoints over Memorial Day weekend with their stated goal being to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities by enforcing DUI and traffic laws. Last year more than 550 drivers throughout the state were arrested on suspicion of DUI, including arrests for extreme DUI (blood alcohol content of 0.15% or greater). Other citations and arrests included aggressive driving violations, Underage DUI violations (under the age of 21), and DUI drug violations.
What Should I do if I am stopped at a DUI Checkpoint?
- Slow down and safely enter the DUI checkpoint area.
- Stay in your car and follow the officer’s instructions.
- Do cooperate with the officer and provide your driver’s license, insurance and registration. However, once you have provided your identification, remember, you do have the right to remain silent and should let the officer know that you wish to exercise your right to remain silent. You also have the right to contact your lawyer – do let the officer know that you wish to contact an attorney.
- If you are asked to step out of your car to perform field sobriety tests (such as the finger-to-nose test or the walk-and-turn test), you are not required to participate in these field sobriety tests. These tests are subjective and can be used to build evidence which can be used against you.
- While you do have the right to refuse the field sobriety tests, that does not mean you should refuse all other tests. Under Arizona’s implied consent laws, a person who operates a motor vehicle gives consent to test(s) of the person’s blood, breath, or urine to determine alcohol concentration or blood content for any allegations of driving or actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs. Failure to consent to a chemical test will result in a 12-month license suspension. Even if you refuse to submit to the test, the officer will likely end up obtaining a search warrant which will require you to allow the blood draw anyways and will still result in a 12-month license suspension.
- You have the right to consult with an attorney and it is advisable to do so as soon as possible after you become a target of any criminal investigation.
What happens if I am charged with a DUI?
If you have been arrested for DUI, you will likely be transported to the police station or a DUI Task Force van to have your blood alcohol levels tested either through a blood draw and/or a breathalyzer test (and in some cases a urine test). Usually you will then be released, and someone can come and pick you up. In some cases, if the charges are more serious you may be held and booked into jail where you will see a Judge within 24 hours for an initial appearance and to determine release conditions.