While driving, you see flashing lights in the rear-view mirror or law enforcement waving you to the side of the road. If you are pulled over for a traffic stop on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) in Phoenix, what should you do?
Being pulled over by police is always frightening and confusing. You may wonder what to say and do, and how that will impact what happens to you next. It is normal to be worried. Here is a list of tips of what to do — and what not to do — if you are pulled over in Arizona.
Do’s and don’ts when you are pulled over in Arizona for a DUI
- If signaled to pull over, do so as quickly and carefully as possible. Do not exit your car. Leave your hands on, or around, the wheel of your car where police can see. Do not make sudden movements or reach into the back seat after you are pulled over. Wait until asked to retrieve your identification documents to ensure police do not think you are hiding something or reaching for a weapon.
- Always be polite to law enforcement. Do not try to talk your way out of a traffic stop. If you are pulled over, police already believe they have cause for the stop and are just looking for evidence to support their suspicion. Be courteous and quiet. The police know what to ask to encourage you to incriminate yourself, so your best defense is silence. If questions persist, tell the police you would like to speak with a reputable criminal defense attorney. Do not mention you have been drinking or that you used marijuana earlier in the day, even if you have a medical marijuana card.
- Be friendly and responsive when asked to produce your license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. Do so promptly.
- Do not agree to allow police to look through your car or search your trunk.
- There are several things you may be asked during a DUI traffic stop in Phoenix. You may be asked to take part in sobriety exercises outside your car, to allow the police officer to examine your eyes or coordination, or to voluntarily take a breath test. It is important for you to know that you do not have to consent to any of these actions — and you should not. Field tests, like walking a line, or standing on one foot, provide law enforcement with evidence to arrest you. It is common for able-bodied persons to perform poorly on sobriety tests, so agreeing to take part in the field exercise is not likely to help your case. Similarly, roadside eye examinations by police officers are not likely to help you avoid arrest. Just say no.
- If you are arrested, remain courteous at all times and ask immediately to speak with your attorney. Take the breath or blood test if requested. Ask to be released as quickly as possible to obtain an independent blood test. Say nothing more to officers as you are transported for arrest or processed. Contact a Phoenix DUI attorney as soon as possible after you are arrested or released.
Do not be combative or argumentative with law enforcement at any time. By conducting yourself politely and being responsive, you can move through the process more quickly and get the legal help that you need to reach the best outcome for your case.
Contact a knowledgeable DUI attorney in Phoenix today
If you are charged with a DUI, call an experienced DUI lawyer in Phoenix at (480) 227-4984 or contact us today for a free initial consultation. Blackwell Law Office, PLLC provides aggressive, responsive legal defense to clients in Phoenix and surrounding areas.