Pulled Over for a Phoenix DUI? Here’s What To Do

When you get pulled over for a Phoenix DUI there are certain things you need to do and other things you should avoid at all costs, so that you can retain your rights for a potential trial. Your attorney will need all the help he can get and providing statements without a lawyer present can cause you problems down the road.

It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and Arizona has some of the toughest laws in the nation. If you are ever pulled over for a DUI in Phoenix, you should cooperate and follow the police officer’s instructions, however, there are certain things you can decline to do politely so you can have a better chance of staying out of jail if you are arrested.


Penalties for First Time DUI Offenses in Arizona

If a driver is found behind the wheel with a Blood Alcohol Level of 0.08-percent or more, they may be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). A driver may also be found guilty when under the influence of legal or illegal drugs. A first offense is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor and can carry the following penalties:

• A minimum of 24-hours jail time – where a nine out of 10-days sentence is suspended – and a maximum of six-months sentence,
• A minimum fine of $250 that can increase to a maximum of $2,500 in total,
• Possible loss of driving privileges or driver license,
• Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in order to regain full driving rights,
• Possible three-years’ probation,
• Possible community service hours requirement,
• Mandatory enrollment and completion of a DUI screening, and substance abuse counseling or treatment at an approved Arizona rehab facility.
• The DUI arrest in Arizona remains on the driver’s records for seven-years. This can affect subsequent DUI criminal cases.


First Things to Do if Pulled Over for DUI in Phoenix

If you are ever pulled over for a DUI in Phoenix that leads to your arrest there are several things you should do to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome in a potential trial. You are required to provide your name, address, and insurance information to the arresting police officer by law, but that is where your talking should stop.

DUI lawyers in Arizona recommend that you do not give out written statements or take field sobriety tests, because they have been found to be unreliable. You will, however, be required -and must agree- to take a blood, urine or breath test, but you can also demand that a separate blood sample be kept and provided to your attorney for further independent analysis later.

Your DUI attorney will also guide you during this process and will direct you to complete a DUI screening.  A DUI Alcohol Screening is a 30 minute interview with a qualified behavioral health technician. The screening is required by theArizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and is the first step to ensuring you are in compliance with MVD after receiving a DUI in the state of Arizona. You must obtain an Alcohol Screening in order to obtain your restricted driver’s license.

If you have an attorney, it is a good idea to call that person as soon as possible and preferably immediately after you have been pulled over for a suspected DUI. The police are required to wait for a reasonable period of time for the attorney to arrive without compromising the case. The DUI laws in Phoenix are complicated, and you will need all the help you can get for a positive outcome in your case. If you do not have a defense attorney, you have the right to request one.

You have the right to remain silent since anything you say can, and will be, used against you in a court of law, so you can politely decline making a statement or giving out any additional information other than your personal identifying details. By law, the arresting officer must read you your Miranda rights and if they do not, this can be used in your favor in a potential criminal case.

In Phoenix, the officer that pulls you over must have reasonable grounds to do so and if he or she suspects you’ve been drinking after examining you, you will likely be asked if you how many drinks you have had. You should decline to answer the question. Under Arizona law, a driver suspected of operating a vehicle under the influence is required to complete one sobriety test to avoid a license suspension. The officer will choose which test to administer and if you refuse the breathalyzer, blood alcohol level or urine tests, you will be arrested, and your license will be suspended for one year, if this is your first offense.

Make Sure to Protect Yourself During the Process

Getting pulled over for DUI in Phoenix, and consequently arrested, is a traumatic experience and you may forget important details. You can ask for a pad of paper and a pen to write down a detailed narrative of the incident, or you can even record a video on your cell phone to share with your lawyer. Important details can be where you were, for how long, how were the road conditions, and why did the incident happen. You should also document the event by taking photos of damages to the vehicle(s) and injuries to yourself and others. Don’t leave anything out, no matter how minor a detail it is. This can be used for your defense as well.

It is important to remain as calm as possible when getting pulled over for a DUI in Phoenix, no matter how unnerving the circumstances are. You will probably feel out of it and still affected by the accident if one occurred. Follow the police officer’s instructions, give out your personal and insurance information when asked, and politely decline to make additional statements that could incriminate you. If you are not sure about whether you should take field sobriety tests at the site of the incident, you can ask what the consequences of refusing are. You can also request to call your lawyer, if you have one, or ask for one to be provided to you. Don’t resist arrest or refuse to get out of the vehicle if prompted to do so. That will only make matters worse. While there are specific laws for people who get pulled over for DUI in Phoenix, there are also rights that drivers have, even when they have injured or killed someone while driving intoxicated.

For any additional information, please reach out to us here at Alcohol Screening Phoenix. We’re here to help!

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