What Should You Do If You’re Pulled Over For Drunk Driving in Arizona?

Arizona has the strictest DUI laws in the country. Make sure you know your rights in case you’re ever pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving in the Grand Canyon State.

Corso Law Group has handled thousands of DUI cases in Arizona. Founder Christopher Corso has previous experience as a prosecutor for Maricopa County, so he and his team of legal professionals know what it’s like on both sides of a DUI case.

This step-by-step guide by Corso Law Group explains how to react if you’re pulled over, how to behave in the presence of an officer and important DUI rights every Arizonan needs to know.

What to do when you see flashing lights:

  • Once you realize you’re getting pulled over, slow down.
  • Pull over to the right and park as far into the shoulder of the road as possible to keep both you and the officer safe from oncoming traffic.
  • Use your blinker. This may seem obvious, but it’s an easy step to avoid any further traffic violations.
  • Turn off the car.

How to interact with an officer:

  • Keep both hands on the wheel so the officer is at ease.
  • Keep your window rolled up until the officer addresses you. You don’t have to go to the extreme and try the Fair DUI Flyer method, but you should only roll it down enough so that you can hear each other and pass your information along. Keeping a barrier is an important step to prevent incriminating yourself. An officer can charge you because he says he smells drugs or alcohol in the car or on your breath.
  • Keep talking to a minimum. You should narrate your actions and let the officer know where your license, registration and insurance are and when you’re reaching for them. Answer basic questions like your name and address. However, do not answer any other questions about how much you’ve had to drink or how fast you were going. It’s your right to remain silent.
  • Ask to speak to your attorney in private.
  • Be polite. Be cooperative. Know your rights. Try to remain calm and avoid rude or aggressive behaviour.

What are your Arizona DUI rights:

  • Do not agree to participate in any field sobriety tests. This includes walking in a straight line, reciting the ABCs, touching your finger to your nose, standing on one leg and more. These types of test aren’t required and may be subjective depending on environmental factors and the officer’s depiction of your results. You do not want your performance during these tests to be used as evidence against you.
  • Do agree to a blood, breath or urine test. These tests are required by the Implied Consent Law, which means that anyone with an Arizona driver’s license has agreed to consent to this type of test if lawfully arrested for DUI. If you refuse, your license will automatically be suspended for at least 12 months, even if your blood alcohol level was under the legal limit, and you weren’t drunk driving.  
  • Do not allow an officer to search your car without a warrant. Don’t be fooled by questions like, “You don’t mind if I have a look in your car, right?” You don’t have to agree to a search, unless the officer has probable cause to search your car or obtain a warrant.

Once you’ve been released, contact a criminal defense attorney at Corso Law Group at (480) 471-4616. We’ll fight to protect your rights.

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