It’s no secret that Arizona has some of the strictest DUI laws and penalties in the country. To help enforce these laws, sobriety checkpoints are located throughout Phoenix and the rest of the state, usually during holidays such as Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day and New Year’s Eve. At these checkpoints, police officers are looking for drivers who show signs of driving under the influence of alcohol. Though the locations of these checkpoints are posted in advance, getting stopped at a checkpoint can be nerve-wracking, whether you’ve been drinking or not. Here are a few ways you can prepare in case you are stopped at an Arizona DUI checkpoint.
- If possible, find out where DUI checkpoints will be in your area before the holiday. DUI checkpoint locations are typically posted on city and state government websites as well as in newspapers, on the radio or on the local news.
- Keep your license and registration handy in case you are stopped. When stopped, always present your license and registration right away. Fumbling for your license and registration could arouse suspicion.
- Do not supply any more information than required of you by law. Even when asked, you do not have to tell the checkpoint officer where you have been or where you are going, or supply any information about alcohol or drug usage recently or in the past. Remember your right to remain silent and that anything you say can be held against you in a court of law.
- If you have passengers in your car, make sure they do not have any open containers or drug paraphernalia. If these items are found during a search of your car, you could be charged with a DUI or drug possession.
- In any case, remain calm and respectful. Regardless of guilt, nervousness or rudeness will not help the situation. Stay composed, present your license and registration right away and do not complain about the checkpoint.
If you or your passengers have been charged with a DUI or drug possession in Arizona, you will need the counsel of an experienced Phoenix criminal lawyer. A former prosecutor, Josh Blumenreich can advise you on the best way to proceed in the very serious case of DUI charges. For a free initial consultation, please call (602) 252-2570.