If you have been pulled over by the police and charged with a crime, call our office for a free consultation. In Arizona, a growing trend has emerged: DUI arrests continue to rise. According to the Office of Highway Safety, arrests have increased each year since 2003. As an Arizona driver, it is important to know your rights. The following tips may be helpful if you are pulled over by the police:
1. Be Calm & Courteous. Upon seeing lights or hearing sirens, signal and pull over to the far most right-hand side, so as to allow the officer plenty of room to approach your vehicle. Once stopped, roll down your window all the way. Wait for the officer to ask for your paperwork (license, insurance, and registration).
2. Keep It Short. For basic traffic stops, it is best to keep answers brief and non-committal. For example, if an officer asks if you know why you were stopped, answer, “No.” If you are asked if you know how fast you were going, reply, “Yes, I do.”
3. Cooperate. As an Arizona driver, you are legally obligated to submit to a blood and/or breath test as a condition of having a driver’s license. If an officer suspects that you are under the influence of a substance, it is best to cooperate. Prior to these tests, an officer may ask you a series of questions. If you are unsure or uncomfortable answering these questions, proceed to Tip 4.
4. Be Prepared. Always keep the number—preferably a cell phone number—of your attorney close at hand. You can keep this number in your wallet with your license and/or with your proof of insurance and registration. If you are unsure how to answer an officer’s questions, especially in regards to alcohol, it is best to calmly “invoke Miranda.” An officer will read you your rights, including the right to an attorney. Inform the officer that you would like to call your attorney, who will counsel you on the best course of action.
5. Be Proactive. Print this list of tips and keep it in your car!