“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense.”
Most of us have this phrase memorized, not necessarily because we have been read this right multiple times, but because we have heard it on movies and television shows. While this right is an important one to remember when getting pulled over for suspected drunk driving, you do have other rights as well.
Below are three rights you should know when stopped by an officer:
- You do not have to submit to field sobriety tests. Many people do not realize that they have the right to refuse this type of testing. Field sobriety tests consist of such activities as walking a straight line, standing on one leg and following an object, such as a pen with your eyes. If you fail the tests, it could lead the officer to believe that you are intoxicated and you may be arrested. The problem with field sobriety testing is that the results are often misleading and based on the officer’s subjective opinion. If you are asked to participate in a field sobriety test, politely decline.
- You can obtain an independent test to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). Blood alcohol testing shows the percent of alcohol in the blood. BAC is calculated by taking a breath, blood or urine sample. In Arizona, with a BAC of .08 percent or higher, you will most likely be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Since BAC is so important, you need to get an independent test done, as well. After the officer has tested your BAC, request that you be released to obtain your own test.
- You have the right to talk with a lawyer. An Arizona DUI conviction can be detrimental to your future. You need to make sure that you are protected. While the DUI investigation is in progress, you can request to speak with a Phoenix criminal defense attorney. The officer is required to give you the chance to talk with a lawyer, as long as it doesn’t impede the investigation.
You have many additional rights when facing DUI charges, which are explained in our book, Arizona DUI Law: What You Must Know. The book is offered for free, so make sure you order your own copy.
For advice regarding your DUI case, contact an experienced Phoenix DUI attorney at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).