In the past several months, the internet has been flooded with viral videos of motorists “flexing their rights” during DUI checkpoints. These videos typically involve drivers approaching DUI checkpoints and using flyers pressed up to their windows that state they wish to remain silent, do not consent to a search, and want a lawyer. Drivers will also supply law enforcement with their driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance.
Since the first videos went viral, numerous drivers have been implementing and recording the technique when passing through DUI checkpoints. While the trend draws attention to the controversial nature of DUI checkpoints - and how far the government can go when enforcing laws without probable cause - the strategy may not work for everyone - especially in Arizona.
Where and When Do DUI Checkpoints Occur?
In Arizona, law enforcement agencies do not conduct DUI checkpoints. Instead, they conduct saturation patrols, which often involve more officers on the road looking specifically for impaired motorists.
During saturation patrols, law enforcement pull motorists over after they have noticed possible signs that a driver may be impaired or see various civil violations, such as :
- Having a taillight out
- Turning into the incorrect lane
Often, saturation patrols will take place at times and locations with higher rates of DUI accidents and arrests.
How to Handle a DUI Checkpoint in Arizona
When officers have a reasonable suspicion to stop a motorist, motorists should comply - without admitting anything - or else they risk further problems.
- Provide your driver's license and vehicle registration when asked.
- If the officer begins questioning you, you can politely refuse to answer questions to prevent incriminating yourself.
- If the officer requests to search your vehicle, you do not have to consent to the search.
- If the officer requests a field sobriety test or blood/breath test, refusing testing can limit evidence against you - however, you may be arrested if you refuse.
- If the officer arrests you, you must cooperate with any requests or risk facing additional charges and penalties against you.
During your exchanges, always be polite and limit conversation with the officer to avoid providing information that can be used against you.
Contact an Attorney If You've Been Arrested
At Knowles Law Firm, PLC, we have helped numerous clients after they have been charged with DUI - and we have seen a wide range of circumstances during the arrest process. As with any criminal stop or arrest, you have rights - including your right to an attorney and right to remain silent. Exercising these rights within reason can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.
No matter the facts and circumstances surrounding your arrest or charges, working with an experienced Phoenix DUI attorney should be your first priority. To discuss your case personally with a lawyer during a FREE and confidential case review, contact Knowles Law Firm, PLC today.