DUI Traffic Stops: What Can the Cops Actually Do?
In Arizona, driving is considered a privilege, not a right. When you get your license, you agree to abide by the traffic laws. If you are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence, there is “implied consent” to submitting to a breathalyzer test since you have agreed to abide by the traffic laws.
However, the notion of implied consent has been challenged in recent court cases, and that has cast doubts about what police are allowed to do if they suspect a person of driving under the influence. It’s important that you keep an Avondale DUI defense lawyer in your contacts so that you can get advice on the spot if you are ever stopped for DUI. My AZ Lawyers is always at the ready should you have need to call, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Getting Consent for Testing
A police officer must have reasonable cause to pull you over for driving under the influence. The officer might claim to have seen you weaving in and out of lanes, driving too close to the side of the road (or on the shoulder), driving too fast or too slow, or driving erratically.
Once the officer pulls you over, he or she must ask you to take a breathalyzer test. Officers cannot coerce you to take the test by threatening that you can go to jail or by harassing you and making you feel powerless or afraid. Officers can only ask you to take the test, and if you do not agree, they must respect your refusal.
Evidence and Coercion
Police officers have to collect evidence of your impairment in order for your charge to turn into a conviction. Typically, that means collecting a blood or urine sample from you or asking you to take a breathalyzer test.
If you refuse to take the test or to provide such samples, and the officer coerces you through threats, intimidation, or misinformation, that officer can face charges of misconduct. Any evidence that is collected can also be thrown out of court.
Proving that an officer coerced you can be difficult. It can come down to a matter of your word against a police officer’s, and the police officer is likely to come out ahead in that case. It’s important for you to get whatever evidence you can of your own, such as a video recording of the encounter. If that’s not possible, you can make a statement at the station when you are booked, or you can call a friend or write down the information as quickly as possible after the incident to document what you experienced. Anything you can do like this may help your case.
Hiring a DUI Defense Attorney
Arizona’s “implied consent” is still murky territory, and if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, it could prove to be trouble for you later. Yet you also don’t want to volunteer any evidence that could be used to convict you later.
The best thing you can do if you are stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence is to call a DUI defense attorney in Mesa to get immediate guidance. Your attorney can direct you on the best course of action and behavior with the officers to minimize the risk of consequences to you. With the right guidance, you may be able to not only avoid a DUI charge but to also avoid potential additional charges.
Keep the number for My AZ Lawyers in your phone so that you can call immediately if you are ever stopped on suspicion of DUI. One of our DUI attorneys will be ready to guide you through the stop to help you avoid charges or long-term consequences. If you have already been charged with DUI, call to talk to one of our DUI lawyers about your legal options. Our DUI defense attorneys around the valley will closely review the details of your case to determine the best legal strategy to help you avoid conviction or to minimize the consequences you might face. We serve clients in Mesa, Glendale, Tucson, and the greater Phoenix area. Call our DUI law office today to learn more about your legal options.
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800
20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (602) 509-0955
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450
12725 W. Indian School Rd., Ste E, #101
Avondale, AZ 85392
Office: (623) 469-6603