If you have a habit of driving while intoxicated, then you have a reason to fear DUI checkpoints. However, law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear. DUI checkpoints are usually mounted and manned by local police departments to ensure Arizona roads are free of criminals and drunk drivers. While they may be important in law enforcement, we know that innocent civilians may be arrested by mistake. When approaching an Arizona DUI checkpoint, you should know your constitutional rights. However, you should also remember that the police also have certain rights which must be respected. The Judge’s Chamber: Law Blog takes a look at some of your rights.
Your Constitutional Rights
One of the most important constitutional rights, is the right to privacy. However, you also have the duty to provide the police with your license, registration, ID and proof of residence. Whether you’re driving while intoxicated or not, you do not need to take a breath test or field sobriety tests. In Arizona, however, your driving license may be suspended for a year if you refuse to take a breath test when requested.
You also have the right to deny the police permission to search you or your vehicle. Remember to be civil and polite when communicating with the police. If police have any reason to suspect you are intoxicated, you may be arrested and taken to the police department where they can get a warrant to test your blood alcohol content. You will then be required to comply with the warrant. A certified phlebotomist at the station will take a blood sample for testing. If your blood alcohol content is above the legal limit, you will be charged with DUI.
When you are being placed under arrest, you have the right to be informed of all your rights. Which include:
– The right to remain silent, so you should stop answering questions as soon as you’re arrested
– The right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, you should not answer questions about the case until a public attorney is appointed to handle your case
Knowing your rights is important, but knowing your obligations is much more important. After all, refusing to do something you are required to do may result in an additional charge of resisting arrest or something else. Follow us for more on law, crime and legalities.