DUI Checkpoint in Arizona, An Interview With Michael Munoz
›››The following content is an excerpt from a live interview with Richard Jacobs founder of my DUI Attorney dot org. The interview has been transcribed and contains information for educational purposes only. Please call Michael Munoz to get legal advice for your particular situation
Interviewer: I‘ve heard in Arizona instead of DUI roadblocks they’ll have a DUI task force where they’ll intercept people when they’re traveling on a roadway and check them for alcohol consumption or possible other traffic infractions.
Munoz: Yes. My first advice is, if it’s a holiday, special occasion, graduation season, anything of that nature, if it’s during that time period then you should expect that there’s going to be a DUI task force in your area. A DUI task force is essentially a group of police organizations that get together usually in one place (and they switch depending on the holiday where they get together) whose sole function is to get drunk drivers off the road. Law enforcement takes this stuff very seriously.
I’ll give you an example; our office is in Tempe, Arizona and the Tempe library is right down the street. The Tempe library parking lot is often used as the location for a task force roundup and it ends up becoming the home base of the task force.
You’ll have police agencies from Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, sometimes Phoenix, and they’ll all send their vehicular units to this task force. And then from there they’ll go out into local areas around the task force, and pull over or stop any vehicle that exhibits even the most minor of traffic violations.
When I say minor, I mean: not using your blinker, swerving in your lane one time, make a wide right turn, not having your headlights on, etc. These are all reasons a task force officer would pull you over.
They’re usually very quick stops; the officer walks up to your vehicle, puts his head into your vehicle, shines a light in your face, smells your breath to see if you’ve been drinking, and then asks you if you’ve been drinking alcohol. If the officer thinks within about 30 seconds you had any alcohol whatsoever, he is going to start a DUI investigation immediately.
Interviewer: Can drivers see a checkpoint or task force stop is coming up down the road? It sounds like the police have intense coverage in a certain area and people will tend to get pulled over a lot in that area for that period of time.
Munoz: Exactly. Instead of having one agency for their own city in their area doing investigations, they have multiple different police agencies concentrated in one area and looking intently for impaired drivers.