In the state of Arizona, DUI laws and the corresponding penalties for violation are among the strictest in the country. To help make sure that the laws are enforced, the state sets up sobriety checkpoints all over the state during various times of the year. The checkpoints are common during holidays like the 4th of July, Memorial Day, New Year’s Eve, and Labor Day. At the checkpoints, police officers are on the lookout for impaired drivers.
Police officers manning a sobriety checkpoint may either stop all passing vehicles or use a pre-determined pattern to stop particular cars. The goal is to determine if the drivers are impaired. Checkpoints are often set up early in the morning or late at night, when the percentage of impaired drivers on the road is at its peak.
When you are stopped at a checkpoint, officers may request to search your vehicle. Unless they have legal grounds to perform the search, you may refuse their request. If they order you to step out of your car, do so, but lock the door once you get out of the car, unless explicated instructed otherwise.
You have the right to refuse to take all field sobriety test. This includes the any of the tests which will ask you the track a pen with your eyes, walk in a straight line, touch your nose, or reciting the alphabet. Thus, even if you are eventually charged with a DUI, the officer cannot include how you did on those tests as a reasons to arrest you.
You may also be asked to undergo breath alcohol testing to determine the level of your blood alcohol content. While you can also refuse to take the test, the consequences of your refusal will result in the loss of your driving privileges. It is best to always ask to speak to an attorney prior to making the decision on whether you should refuse to take the chemical test.
The police believe that DUI checkpoints are effective in reducing the number of impaired drivers on the road, even if many violators are able to get around them. What’s important is for the public to be aware that impaired driving is never tolerated. Based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) studies, there are three DUI arrests done by roving patrols for every arrest made at a DUI checkpoint.
Following are some tips on how you can prepare for DUI checkpoints:
If you or any of the passengers are charged with a DUI or possession of illegal drugs at a DUI checkpoint in Arizona, it is important that you immediately seek the help of an experienced DUI attorney like Robert A. Dodell.
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Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law
10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103
Scottsdale, AZ 85260