Because accidents that involve alcohol are the biggest killers on American roads, laws pertaining to DUI in places such as Tempe, Arizona, are increasingly becoming more stringent to attempt to stop this problem. Because of this, law enforcement is aggressive when searching for, pulling over, and arresting people for DUI.

Knowing your rights is extremely important, and an experienced Tempe DUI lawyer will know the inns and outs of dealing with all aspects of DUI laws and penalties. Remember that all counties, cities and states are facing a budget crisis, and this has only increased the chances for police to issue possibly underserving tickets of all sizes and scope, especially when DUI may be involved.

Refusing Field Sobriety Tests – Your Right to Refuse

Before DUI charges are pressed against you, it is mandatory for the reporting officer to ascertain that the driver behind the wheel indeed is intoxicated. As part of law enforcement’s criminal investigation to determine whether you’re DUI, various field sobriety tests are conducted once the suspect is pulled over.

Under Arizona DUI law, you may politely refuse to undergo any of the sobriety tests if you have been pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence. It is also not mandatory for the officer but he could inform you that you may refuse the test; however, however no law enforcement officer exercises this option. And the majority of the time, the ignorance of the unsuspecting victim plays against them. If you know that you are not under the influence of alcohol or any other banned substance, you can refuse to give in the preliminary breath test or any other sobriety test.

Once you are arrested, however, the situation changes. NOW, if you refuse any blood, breath or urine tests, you are violating Arizona’s implied consent laws and will face losing your driver’s license for 6 months to a year or more, so it is advisable to take any tests asked of you after you’ve been arrested.

Right to Remain Silent

A suspect is well within their legal rights (called Miranda rights) to remain silent irrespective of the crime committed, and a DUI arrest is no different. As it happens, most unsuspecting people try to talk themselves out of the situation by asking the arresting officer to let them go or offering too much incriminating information.

Don’t talk too much – especially if you are pleading with the arresting officer to let you go, you are making the case of the state against you stronger. If you’re the subject of a criminal investigation (i.e. you’ve been pulled over and you’re being asked to do field sobriety or breath tests, or being questioned whether you’ve had anything to drink), under no circumstances should you volunteer any info. Once an arrest is made, you are entitled to speak with an attorney and have the chance to hire them to defend you and represent you, but you may have to exercise your right and ask to speak to one.

Right to an Legal Representation by an Attorney

A DUI is a serious offense not only in Tempe, Arizona, but all across the country. The repercussions are many. Once convicted, your license may be suspended for a fixed period or permanently, you will have to spend time behind bars and be forced to spend hours doing long stretches of community service, a penalty may be imposed and you may also be asked to pay for the jail time. The worst case scenario, your employer may fire you and you might even become illegible to apply for certain jobs, especially as a commercial driver, working in the military, or dealing with children.

Considering all these factors, the moment you are detained, exercise your right to speak to a lawyer. An effective Tempe DUI attorney will ensure that no false charges are pressed against you and you receive a fair trial in the courts if that becomes the case.

By Michael Munoz

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