By: Max Nicholas Hanson, Esq.
All around the world the holiday season brings joy and celebration, and in Arizona it also brings out an increase in the presence of law enforcement on our roadways. We have more officers on the road (called saturation patrols) and targeted thoroughfares with DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols manned by inter-agency DUI task forces, aggressively on the hunt for drunk drivers.
Last year alone, the State of Arizona arrested 39,746 people for DUI – a good portion of these arrests happened during the holidays when the police are out in full force.
Information regarding the locations of these DUI checkpoints and the dates and times that these DUI task forces are in effect is available through various media sources. We also try to keep our clients informed by posting local DUI checkpoints during major holiday weekends on the Owens & Perkins’ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OwensAndPerkins. Instead of even contemplating that risk, be informed, be safe and don’t become just another statistic this year.
If you do end up at a checkpoint or in an area where the DUI task force is targeting, don’t panic. You still have certain Constitutional rights which are still in full force and effect even in this situation and we would encourage you to utilize those rights.
- Your right to remain silent – Beyond identifying yourself to officers with your name and address, and providing your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance, you have the right to refuse to answer any other questions by invoking your right to remain silent. This also includes your right to decline to perform any field sobriety or coordination tests. Although you can also refuse to perform a breath or blood test for alcohol concentration, a refusal of either the breath or blood test will automatically subject you to the loss of your driver’s license in Arizona for one year.
- Your right to an attorney - You also have the right to consult with an attorney prior to any questioning by police or prior to submitting to any blood, breath, or urine testing, unless it would cause undue delay in the testing.
As always, all of us at OWENS & PERKINS encourage you to drink responsibly and to utilize a designated driver, Uber or Lyft rather than get behind the wheel if you have imbibed this holiday season. But, in the event that are stopped and charged with a DUI, we can help. Call us at 480.630.2464 to schedule a FREE 30-minute CONSULTATION with one of our experienced DUI attorneys.