Driving under the influence used to be seen as a minor crime. Over the past few decades, the public has demanded more accountability from drivers. After all, DUI drivers can easily injure other drivers and even cause fatalities on the road. Arizona has responded in a big way, even creating a DUI Task Force. There are checkpoints all over the southern part of the state. Today, even first-time DUI offenders can face serious consequences.
What to do at a checkpoint
At a DUI checkpoint, drivers are required to provide the police with their license and registration. It’s a good idea to politely refuse field sobriety tests. There are consequences to refusing a breathalyzer test, but if a driver knows they are over the limit, doing so may be in their best interest.
Drivers don’t have to go out of their way to explain themselves. Sometimes at stops, drivers feel compelled to explain that they’re “feeling it” but “not drunk.” Making statements like this is unlikely to help a driver’s case down the line. Ultimately, they are just incriminating themselves.
Mounting a defense
In Arizona today, the penalties for DUI drivers are steep. If convicted, even for a first offense, a court may require you to install an interlock device on your cars. While this is expensive and cumbersome, it’s also preferable to someone losing their license.
Having the right defense attorney can make a big difference in how a driver’s DUI case plays out. An experienced lawyer could demonstrate flaws in police procedure or convince the court to be lenient. Getting solid representation is an upfront cost that may be able to save people time and money in the long run.