A common question I get from people worried about being charged with a DUI in Arizona is what they should do if stopped by the police for suspicion of DUI. The first thing you should do is be nice to the police officer. If you are rude and or hostile this will not help your situation. The more combative you are the more agitated the officer will be with you. I once had a client that threw his keys as far as he could when the officer asked for the keys, this is not helpful. Remember that the officer is taking mental notes on how you are acting. If you are rude and or disrespectful your actions will be noted and will make their way into the officer’s report. If you wouldn’t want a jury hearing about how rude you were, there is a simple solution, don’t be rude.
Being polite to the officer does not mean you should give up your rights. It is important that you know your rights and exercise them. The first thing to remember is that you are better off not doing any of the field sobreity tests. The tests are not your friends and they are designed for you to fail them. There is a lot of published science on how the tests are designed for you to fail them. Most people would have a hard time doing the tests sober. You should provide the officers with your driver’s license, insurance, and registration. Obviously, if you don’t have the documents this will be a problem.
At some point the officer will probably ask he or she can draw your blood. Some police departments still rely on breath tests, but most of the major cities have switched to blood. The reason for the switch is that blood is more accurate. Under Arizona law you should submit to the blood draw. If you do not you could lose your license for a year even if you are not convicted of a DUI. If you don’t submit to the blood draw the officer will usually obtain a warrant. Once the warrant is obtained the officer can take your blood. If the suspect is being difficult they will be strapped into a chair and have the blood taken by force.
As always the less information you volunteer to the officer the better off you will be. The officer will usually say they are just trying to figure out what is going on and are not looking to charge you with a DUI. This is usually not true. Trying to talk your way out of the bad situation you are in is rarely a good idea. Keep your composure, keep calm and contact a good DUI lawyer.