What are Your Constitutional Rights at a DUI Checkpoint in Arizona?
While DUI checkpoints are prohibited by state constitution in many parts of the US, they are legal in Arizona. The police have the right to organize such checkpoints while following certain rules (for example – providing clear preliminary information about the location of the checkpoint).
Being stopped at a DUI checkpoint could feel scary, even if you’ve done nothing wrong. Still, you have to remember that you have your constitutional rights during encounters with law enforcement professionals. These rights apply to DUI checkpoints in Arizona.
Recognize Lawful Requests
When you get stopped at a DUI checkpoint, you may be asked to do several things.
The first one is to provide ID and your license. This is a lawful request and you should cooperate with the police officer.
While interacting with you, police officers will be observing your behavior, the way you speak and the visible aspects of the automobile’s interior. This information will be used to paint a picture about potential intoxication or impairment.
If you’re asked to step out of the vehicle on the basis of the police officer’s inspection, you should cooperate. Next, you may be asked to do a field sobriety test. This is the part of the interaction you can refuse to engage in.
Field sobriety tests consist of several activities used to determine whether you’re impaired. The problem is that such tests often provide a false positive. You may get a false positive if you’re overweight, you have a mobility issue or you haven’t had enough sleep. Refusing to do a field sobriety test at an Arizona DUI checkpoint is not going to have additional consequences.
Finally, the law enforcement professionals may ask you to do a breath test. Refusing a BAC test is an option but it comes with consequences. If you refuse the test, you will have your license revoked for a period of one year. Hence, it’s best to do the test. You will be taken to a nearby police station where the BAC test is going to be administered.
You Have the Right to Get Expert Help
Most often, being stopped at an Arizona DUI checkpoint isn’t going to have consequences. If law enforcement professionals can identify a probable cause, you will have to go through BAC testing and an eventual arrest.
Even if this happens, you have constitutional rights that cannot be taken away.
The first one is being read your Miranda Rights. If a law enforcement professional doesn’t complete this step, you will have a reason to challenge the entire process in court.
You’re also entitled to talking to an Arizona DUI attorney.
Driving under the influence is a serious offense in Arizona. The state is known for some of the harshest penalties in the US. Hence, you shouldn’t attempt to handle the interactions with law enforcement professionals on your own. If you self-incriminate yourself in one way or another, you will face life-changing consequences.
Once you’re taken to a police station, you should refrain from answering questions until you see your attorney. DUIs in Arizona carry criminal charges. Your license will be suspended, you’ll have to pay a fine and there will potentially be jail time. Additionally, you may have to deal with the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). Do not attempt to represent yourself or explain the situation to the police officers. You have the right to consult attorney immediately after you’re taken into custody.
Even if you were impaired at the time the DUI checkpoint took place, a good attorney will be capable of helping you. Depending on the circumstances and the evidence, your lawyer could arrange for a sentence reduction. Don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance, regardless of the specifics of the situation you’ve found yourself in.
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