10 Things Police Don’t Tell You about Phoenix DUI Sobriety Checkpoints.
Article Written By: James Novak, Experienced Phoenix DUI Lawyer, & Criminal Defense Attorney
This time every year, Phoenix DUI lawyers and criminal defense attorneys start getting pretty busy with DUI violations, and other criminal charges that result from drinking and driving, or other offense that can stem celebrations or gatherings. One thing to expect is Arizona DUI sobriety check points. Phoenix DUI checkpoints are pre-determined and announced by city officials and law enforcement agencies. Not only are the locations of the DUI sobriety checkpoints decided in advance, but so are the vehicles they decide to stop. Federal laws adopted by Arizona, require that which vehicles to stop, be based on a mathematical formula. For example, it could be every third or fourth vehicle, or every vehicle. The only way to be 100% certain you won’t be stopped if you find yourself in a DUI roadblock line is the obvious: Avoid drinking and driving; and avoid driving impaired to the slightest degree, due to alcohol, drugs, or any other toxic substances that would impair your ability to drive in Arizona. If that is not possible, then read on to learn how to survive the DUI stop:
1. Stay away. Before you leave for your destination, find out in advance where the planned Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale DUI roadblocks will be. Officials must announce DUI sobriety check point locations in advance. Check your local media and news sources; official law enforcement, DPS, Maricopa County, and other Social Media outlets, websites, blogs. Then take a detour.
2. Make your Arizona driver’s license and registration accessible to you in the vehicle. When the police stop a vehicle at a DUI check point, they will ask you for your driver’s license and vehicle registration. They are not just looking to see if your driver’s license is current and valid; or to make sure you’re not driving a stolen vehicle. They are also observing your demeanor, any unusual fumbling; or lack of controlled motor skills they may cause them to investigate you further for Arizona drunk driving or DUI. Produce your license and registration timely and without question.
3. Stay calm and in control. The Phoenix police or DPS officers always expect people to be a little nervous at a DUI stop, even if they have nothing to hide. But being overly nervous or over gesturing is a red flag to them that something’s up;
4. Don’t joke around. Refrain from joking, laughing or chattering to the police or other passengers in the vehicle with you. Heads up passengers….this includes you too. In fact, you should alert all passengers that you are approaching a DUI checkpoint that silence and respect is necessary, and throughout the process.
5. Get off the cell phone and refrain from texting. While in line or at the actual DUI stop, stay focused; pay attention; and listen to what is being asked of you by the police.
6. Don’t complain about the Phoenix DUI checkpoint or being stopped. Remain respectful and polite to the officers. Treat them how you would want to be treated if the tables were turned.
7. Give them only the information they are requesting. Don’t offer information about where you’ve been; where you are going, what you’ve eaten, or what you have been drinking, or anything of that nature. What may seem to you as harmless or innocent “elevator conversation” may actually cause them to question you further. A respectful greeting is sufficient such as “Good evening officer”, “Hello officer”, “Thank-you Officer” and the like.
8. Don’t offer any information about medical conditions or medications you have. And especially do not offer information regarding prescription or over-the-counter medications you may have consumed or that may be in your possession. To do so, may cue the officer’s to investigate you further for a Phoenix Drug DUI or Medication DUI. In Arizona you can get a DUI if you are “impaired to the slightest degree” by legal non-prescription drugs. You may not be aware that certain medications you purchased from a local drug store for aches, pain, allergies, headaches or other reason, contained ingredients that impaired your driving.
9. Don’t allow passengers to carry or consume alcoholic beverages while in your vehicle. When you step up to be the designated driver, you get to make the rules. The rules are to protect you and them. It’s your license and your freedom is on the line. Your job is to be sober and get them to their destination safely. Their job is to ride by your rules. When you make the rules and your riders abide them, everyone wins and you’re the “Most Valuable Player”.
10. If you are charged with DUI, consult an experienced Phoenix DUI lawyer as soon as reasonably possible regarding your matter. Arizona DUI, drunk driving, or DWI charges carry some of the most severe penalties in the Country. You will need a good Phoenix criminal attorney to defend your charges; protect your rights; and fight for a dismissal or other favorable outcome.
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