5 DUI Tips for Arizona Drivers
Drunk driving is Arizona’s unavoidable nightmare responsible for nearly one life per day statewide, and had induced 10,265 deaths in 2015 alone. Growing concern over drunk driving has caused Arizona, like most states, to take a tougher stance by ramping up patrol efforts.
To persons guilty of driving under the influence, carefully follow these five tips to avoid incrimination, additional charges and potential loss of license for life.
Write your own police report
While arrests are still fresh in their minds, police will whip up reports containing the cause for traffic stop, events surrounding your field sobriety test, and the end result. To law enforcement, you’re another statistic. But to you, this DUI could ultimately cause undue hardship for years to come.
Write your own version of events. Not only do prosecutors tend to doubt your ability to recollect the night you were drunk and arrested, they love to discredit defendants. Your written account could call the policeman’s report into question and possibly get it tossed.
Field sobriety tests can be declined
You cannot be prosecuted for refusing to touch your nose, stand on one leg or recite ABC’s backwards. The only required tests in Arizona are breath, urine or blood. If an officer threatens or coerces you to submit to field testing, an attorney may get the charge dismissed for entrapment or coercion.
An officer may already have it out for you, meaning an arrest was imminent before they pulled you over. Why dilute your case with more ‘dirt’ than necessary?
Ask for independent blood testing
If you refused breathalyzer testing, an officer may secure a warrant to draw blood when booked into jail. If this happens, request independent testing from an unbiased laboratory. Your right to defend yourself at trial relies on the veracity of evidence, and blood samples are evidence. Blood tests without a warrant cannot be punished by judges, and may get charges dismissed.
Ask the arresting officer to be released from custody to get an independent blood draw done.
Cooperating with law enforcement, and answering every question presented, have two separate outcomes.
Answer no questions regarding your whereabouts, who you comingled with, where you’re headed or why you were driving. Information collected during questioning is used against you. The less information offered to law enforcement, the less prosecutors can use against you.
Failing to Mirandize your arrest is another technicality that can get cases thrown out or pled down quickly.
Avoid pro se defense
Fighting cases where your freedom, driving privileges and potential future job opportunities are at risk takes skill. Quite honestly, defendants walking into court unprepared is what prosecutors pray happens every day. Not only do states have fun with inexperienced persons in their courtroom, they’ll often make a mockery of whatever defense raised.
Defending your DUI arrest should be deemed a worthwhile investment, one that not only could preserve your driving privileges, but could end up reprimanding law enforcement officers with ill intent.
Considering the serious consequence first-time offenders face, and taking into account the costs guilty persons will pay anyway, it makes sense to invest in legal help.
Each day across Arizona, hundreds of drunk drivers are either arrested, cause an accident, or needlessly die. If you were the one arrested, you do have options, but those options grow lesser with every moment you wait to mount your defense.
There are many ways to determine fault, but even more ways to discredit law enforcement for poor detective work, illegal tests, procedural errors during arrest, and even performing illegal search and seizures.
Hire counsel to defend you in DUI matters. You’ll be glad you did. Click here for tips on going through an Arizona DUI checkpoint.