In the state of Arizona, law enforcement officers conduct DUI checkpoints, also called sobriety or saturation checkpoints, to get drivers who are under the influence off the road. These checkpoints often help law enforcement officers find people who have outstanding warrants.
If you are arrested or charged at a DUI checkpoint, call an experienced DUI attorney immediately.
What to Do if You Encounter a DUI Checkpoint
Do not try to run from a DUI checkpoint. This will result in a vehicular chase that can endanger other drivers or a foot chase. Either will lead to serious charges against you and your immediate arrest.
Officers will direct you where to stop your vehicle. Follow all directions. Keep your hands where the officers can see them at all times. Instruct your passengers to do the same.
Don’t do anything unless told to by a law enforcement officer. Most drivers automatically lower their windows when stopped by police. Under Arizona law, you aren’t required to do so unless directed to by an officer.
Law enforcement officers may instruct you to turn off music and extinguish cigarettes. Do so carefully, keeping your hands in view of the officer.
Recording traffic stops with smart phones has been prominent in the news recently. You have the right to record encounters with law enforcement as long as it doesn’t interfere with procedure. Recording a DUI checkpoint stop may help your case but may also make officers antagonistic towards you.
Remember that anything you say to law enforcement during a DUI checkpoint stop can and will be used against you in court. Under Arizona law, you are not required to speak to officers during the stop.
Breathalyzer and Other Sobriety Tests
In the state of Arizona, you do not have to take a Breathalyzer test or provide blood or urine samples if you have not been arrested. It is crucial to remember that you if you refuse a Breathalyzer or other tests after you have been arrested, you will automatically lose your license for a minimum of one year.
You don’t have to speak to law enforcement at all during a DUI checkpoint. At the same time, you must obey all commands to put your hands on your head, kneel or lie down to avoid being charged with resisting arrest. If you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent other than requesting an attorney.
It’s hard for almost any driver to stay calm and quiet during any traffic checkpoint but doing so will help your case.
If You are Charged at a DUI Checkpoint
Charges resulting from a checkpoint stop can include DUI, possession of a controlled substance or driving with an expired license. Even if the charge seems small, remember that it can affect your insurance and ability to drive.
You need a DUI attorney to help you obtain the best result for your case.
The best Phoenix DUI lawyers offer after-hour appointments and employ attorneys and paralegals fluent in Spanish. If you’ve been charged with anything after a Phoenix DUI checkpoint, call an attorney right away.