What’s the Law Police Must Follow During a DUI Stop?
One minute, you’re having a good time with friends. The next, you see red and blue lights in your rearview mirror. You might think it would never happen to you, but 26,296 DUI arrests were made in Arizona last year alone. Not to mention the fact that Arizona has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. If and when it happens to you, you want to be prepared. It’s important to know the law, as DUI arrests can be very difficult on a family and the arduous process can take its toll on your personal life.
What happens when you’re charged
If charged you may face, on your first arrest, a jail sentence of 10 days, $1,500 in fines. Not including jail fees and an $80 monitoring fee, 90 day suspension, or even year long revocation of your license. That’s only for what is termed as a “standard DUI.” For an “extreme DUI,” involving an alcohol blood content of 0.15 or higher, the consequences will be even more severe. Other factors (such as children present in the vehicle) will also be taken into account and may increase the seriousness of your charges.
Let’s run through what to expect
If a police officer stops you for suspicion of DUI, they will inevitably ask you to take a breathalyzer test. This test measures Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), which is the ratio of alcohol per milliliter of blood in your body. If the BAC test has a reading of .08% (the legal limit) or higher, the law states that you are over the limit and the officer may charge you with a DUI. In fact, even if you are below the legal limit, you can be arrested, due to Arizona’s “no tolerance” policy on drunk driving. In that moment, try to remember the details, because they could really help your case later on.
There is a large set of complicated and hard to interpret laws involved in a DUI case. The Northern Arizona DUI attorneys Antol & Sherman have tough defense lawyers who can help sort through what the details of when you were detained. You have a right to know what these laws are and how they could affect you.
5 Common Mistakes Police Officers Make In A DUI Process
You should also be aware of these 5 common mistakes that police officers make in a DUI process. Know your rights and tell your DUI lawyer if any of the following rules were violated during your arrest:
1: No reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle
“Reasonable suspicion” includes any characteristics of your behavior or your driving that suggests you may be under the influence. This includes but is not limited to: straddling the centerline, making an illegal turn, or drifting from one lane to another. An officer may pull you over due to another reason or infraction, such as a broken taillight, before launching a closer investigation if they suspect you are under the influence. If there are other indications of intoxication, such as an open container of alcohol in the vehicle or displaying a lack of coordination, this will also count as “reasonable suspicion.”
2. Failure to follow procedure during field sobriety
If an officer is found to have inadequately or unclearly instructed you in a field sobriety test (such as the “walk and turn test”) this may count against them and give you an opportunity to fight your charges.
3: Failure to follow procedure when administering the breathalyzer
If the breathalyzer did not capture at least two readings within .02 of one another, or if the device has not been properly maintained, this evidence may be dismissed in court.
4: Inaccurate and incomplete arrest report that sometimes does not corroborate other evidence
When considering the evidence presented in your case, our team of attorneys look at every aspect of your report, to find these deficiencies.
5: No probable cause for arrest
This would likely involve an absence of all of the above evidence. In addition to an absence of witness statements or direct admission of intoxication to the police.
“Given the information available to the police officer at the time of your arrest, would that information cause a reasonable and cautious person to believe that a crime was committed?” -Antol & Sherman
Get A Free Consultation
Flagstaff attorneys at Antol & Sherman have over 60 years experience in handling DUI cases in Northern Arizona. Call (928) 214 – 6339 for a free consultation. We’ll inform you on your rights are and how the laws of a DUI can be interpreted. See what to do if involved in a hit and run.