I was stopped for a DUI in Phoenix, Arizona. What do I do at the Police Station?
First things first, if you are arrested for DUI:
1) Be polite to the officer at all times,
2) Provide your license, registration and insurance,
3) If you are asked to step out of the vehicle – comply,
4) If an officer asks if you have been drinking invoke your 5th Amendment Right to remain silent,
5) Request an attorney,
6) Politely refuse all field sobriety tests (eye test, walk & turn, 1 leg stand),
7) Refuse the PBT – Small breath machine carried by the officer in his car and administered on the side of the road (contrary to popular belief, your license will not be suspended for refusing this test).
If you have been drinking, a trained officer will most likely make an arrest despite refusing these tests. Now that you are on the way to the station, what do you do?
When you get to the station, DUI van, or hospital the officer will ask for a sample of your breath (this breath sample is from a mouthpiece that looks like it is connected to a computer) or blood depending on jurisdiction. The officer will read you something called the Admin Per Se/Implied Consent.
Admin Per Se/Implied Consent basically means if you do not give the officer a blood/breath sample your license will be revoked for 1 year. If you give the sample your license will only be suspended for 90 days. If you refuse to give the blood/breath the police will still obtain your blood. The arresting officer will simply apply for a search warrant, hold you down, and forcibly draw your blood.
Prior to consenting to the blood/breath sample always ask the officer to speak privately with a lawyer before you make a decision. The police must make a phone available for you and allow you time to contact a lawyer. Take advantage of this.
Once the police obtain a blood/breath sample always request an independent blood test. The officer must give you the opportunity to make arrangements for the test if you are remaining in custody. If the officer releases you from custody you should go directly to the hospital and have an independent blood test.
Though you invoked your right to remain silent and requested an attorney the officer may still try and ask you a standard set of DUI questions. The officer will ask how much you drank, when you drank, how much you ate, when you ate, how impaired to you feel, etc. Do not answer these questions. Invoke your right to remain silent and ask for a lawyer.
Though you will follow these steps if suspected of DUI, your night will most likely end in an arrest. These steps provide your attorney with more ammunition to fight your case and hopefully avoid a conviction. The only way to truly save yourself from a DUI is to not drive after consuming any amount of alcohol. RIDE A BIKE!
If you have been charged with a DUI call Aaron Black and start fighting these charges. Aaron Black is a Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer and one of the leading trial attorneys in Arizona. Aaron Black is recognized as a 2012 Super Lawyer Rising Star in Criminal Defense (Top 2.5% of lawyers under 40 in Arizona and New Mexico). He is rated 10/10 on AVVO.com, and is rated by Martindale-Hubbell as an AV Preeminent Lawyer (the highest level of professional excellence).