Driving under the influence (DUI) checkpoints are locations where law enforcement officers can stop vehicles to check for intoxication. They are legal in the State of Arizona as long as certain requirements are met, such as clear signage and prior notice of where the checkpoints are. If you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint, it’s important to be careful about how you act to avoid any issues.
Here are some dos and don’ts for DUI checkpoints:
DO Get Your Documentation Ready
As previously mentioned, Arizona DUI checkpoints need to have clear signage. When you are approaching one, get your driver’s license, registration, insurance information, and any other relevant documents ready to go. This will minimize the amount of time you need to spend searching for them if you are stopped, and reduces the risk of an officer perceiving you as “fumbling” to find them.
It’s natural to be a bit nervous for an interaction with law enforcement, even if you haven’t done anything wrong. However, do your best to stay calm. Acting frantic can increase suspicion. It’s also important to be polite and courteous throughout the interaction.
DO Know Your Rights
Although DUI checkpoints are legal, you don’t give up your rights when you go through one. You are able to exercise the same rights you could at any type of traffic stop.
You have the right to:
- Remain silent, so long as you provide necessary identification documents
- Refuse searches of your vehicle (Note: If the officer has probable cause, they may be able to conduct a search anyway.)
- Refuse field sobriety tests
It is typically in your best interest to only provide minimum information. However, continue to be polite and courteous throughout the interaction.
While you can refuse a breathalyzer, you should know that there are consequences for doing so. In most cases, the officer already has enough evidence to arrest you and request a blood test. Additionally, you are required under Arizona law to submit to testing or lose your license.
DON’T Try To Handle A Criminal Case On Your Own
If you are arrested at a DUI checkpoint, it’s important to reach out to an experienced attorney. Trying to manage your case on your own makes it more difficult. There are many factors that can influence a criminal case, and you are not likely equipped to handle these complexities without professional help. Until you are able to get in touch with your lawyer, you should exercise your right to remain silent.
Experienced DUI Attorneys in Tucson
At Grabb & Durando, we have extensive experience in criminal defense, including DUI cases. We can examine the facts of your case and will fight to achieve the best possible outcome.