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Pulled over for Suspected DUI in Arizona: What are my rights?

Unfortunately, DUI laws in Arizona and across the United States can be arbitrary. The safest route is always to avoid drinking altogether before getting behind the wheel, but some of us have higher tolerances than others and the same blood alcohol level in two different people can have drastically different effects. While the law may not make sense in all cases, it is nevertheless still the law. If your BAC is over .08% within 2 hours of driving you can be charged with DUI. In fact, it is possible to be charged with driving under the influence even at levels under the statutory limit!

Even if you feel that you are in total control of the vehicle, it can be intimidating if you are pulled over by a police officer after having consumed any alcohol earlier that evening. It is important to know your rights in this situation, and some of the things NOT to do are perhaps the most important for the sake of your safety.

  1. You are not legally obligated to answer any questions. Questions like “Where are you coming from?” can seem innocent enough, but any answers you give can lead to other questions and all of which can be used against you in court. The best thing to do is stay silent until your lawyer is present. If you do say anything leave it at something as simple as “I have no comment”. Remain calm at all times.
  2. You are not legally obligated to undertake field sobriety tests.The officer may still arrest you whether or not you perform the tests. Their only purpose they serve are to be used against you in court. There aren’t even any definitive rules for what “failing” one of these tests is. It is completely in the hands of the police officer.
  3. You are not legally obligated to submit to a breathalyzer test at a traffic stop. While you will have to eventually perform the test at the police station if you are actually arrested, it is not legally required on the roadside. These results can only be used against you.


If you are pulled over for suspected DUI, remain calm, remember your rights and contact a certified criminal law specialist like Todd Coolidge immediately. 480-264-5111

*The information in this blog is for general information purposes only. This blog post should not be taken to constitute a formal recommendation or professional advice. We exclude all representations, warranties, legal liability or responsibility relating to its content.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/20/2016) Mr.TinDC(Flickr)