One of the first things the DUI officer looks to is your judgment in choosing a place to pull over, and how well you negotiate your stop. Try to relax. Don't stop in traffic. Drive ahead until you find a safe place, then signal and slow to a stop. Also, try to pull over as soon a practical. If you take to long to pull over, the police will testify that you were out of it and didn't even notice him because you had too much too drink.
Only tell the officer your name and provide him with your license, insurance, and registration.
You must tell the DUI officer your name and provide documents such as your license, registration and insurance information. But the DUI officer will ask you whether you've been drinking, what you drank, how much, when, etc. You have no obligation to answer these questions, and you generally should not. Politely tell him, "I've been advised never to answer these sorts of questions and I don't wish to do so." Almost always, the answers you give will hurt, not help, your situation.
Don't do the officer's Field Sobriety Tests
Though the DUI officer may not inform you that you have a right to refuse to take these tests, you do. Generally, you should decline to take them. The field sobriety tests usually only hurt your DUI case. In DUI reports, the officers tend to exaggerate your every mistake and while overlooking all that you do correctly. The officer may paint you as having failed the tests even if you performed them reasonably well. He probably expects you to perform them perfectly, a feat many completely sober people can't even accomplish.
Don't take the Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) Test
The Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) test is a hand held device the DUI officer may ask you to blow into right at the scene of the DUI traffic stop. Generally, you should refuse it. The DUI PBT devise is totally unreliable. It often gives falsely high readings that the DUI prosecutor will try to use against you in court. It is so unreliable, the government cannot use its results in court. That said, in some cases officers will let a DUI suspect go if the result reads a low BAC.
Ask to speak to a criminal defense attorney immediately!
The police officer must give you a reasonable opportunity to talk to a criminal defense attorney. Make sure he writes down you requested the chance to speak with an attorney.
Take the officer's Chemical Test After Arrest
If the officer arrests you for DUI, he will make you take a chemical test of his choosing. Under Arizona's implied consent law, this one you have to take. If you don't agree to take it, they will torture the blood out of you. And a refusal makes the consequences of a DUI more severe, including possibly a one-year suspension of your Arizona driver's license.
Don't say the following things to the police officer at any point during the stop
* "I'm too drunk to do the field sobriety tests"
* "I couldn't do these tests if I was sober"
* "I hate cops"
* "Just go ahead and arrest me"
* "I know the procedure; this isn't my first one"
* "If I wasn't drunk, there would have been no way you would have caught me"
* "How much will it cost me for you to forget you ever pulled me over?"
As soon as possible, write down in detail what happened.
Your DUI defense lawyer will need to establish a detailed time line of everything you did in the hours preceding the DUI arrest: what you drank, where, with whom, when, etc. Write out this itinerary as soon as possible, while it's still fresh in your mind. Also, save any receipts from purchases of food and alcohol, and make a list of any witnesses who were with you up until the arrest.
Yes, we advise you not to answer certain questions, not to take the field sobriety tests and not to take the PBT test. Nevertheless, you should be polite, courteous and cooperative with the officer-even if he doesn't show you the same respect. Remember, he has great discretion out there. He can simply let you go if he chooses. He can let you call someone to come pick you up. If he does arrest you for DUI, he can leave your car at the scene, rather than towing it. He can go easy on you in the DUI report. Always try to make a friend out of the officer as much as possible.
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