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The DUI Arrest Process

Tuesday / May 10, 2016

Have you ever wondered what happens during a typical DUI arrest?  That’s good! You have probably never had to experience the ordeal for yourself. Well, here in Arizona, the following are the typical steps from the police stopping you all the way to the arrest. Remember, not all cases are the same and encounters will depend on the officer(s) and individuals involved, but this will help give you a general idea.


The Stop


Police must first witness a traffic violation or have reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime in order to make a traffic stop. The officer will typically immediately ask for your license and registration and ask if you know why he or she pulled you over.


Field Sobriety Tests


If there is a suspicion of intoxication, the officer will typically ask the driver to step out of the vehicle to perform a variety of field sobriety tests. Officers use field sobriety tests to evaluate your ability to complete multiple tasks at the same time. These tests can include walking on a straight line, placing your finger to your nose, and standing on one leg with your arms outstretched. You are not required by law to participate in field sobriety tests and the officer is not allowed to suggest or tell you otherwise. It is typically advisable to DECLINE participation in field sobriety tests as they are very subjective and not an accurate indication of Blood Alcohol Content.


Portable Breath Test


The officer may then ask you to blow into a handheld device, called a Portable or Preliminary Breath Test or PBT. This device will give the officer an approximate reading of how much alcohol is in your body. While PBT’s are useful in determining if alcohol is present in a person’s system, PBT’s cannot be the sole piece of evidence used to determine BAC. For this reason, you DO NOT have to submit a PBT if requested by the officer. Continue to conduct yourself in a polite, courteous manner but know it is within your legal right to decline a PBT and ask to contact a lawyer.


The DUI Arrest


Once the officer believes he has probable cause based on his questions, field sobriety tests and/or PBT, he will put handcuffs on you, place you under arrest, read you your Miranda rights, and put you in the back seat of his patrol car where you will be taken to a police station.


Other Tests


Other testing typically occurs once you are arrested. You are required by law to submit to these tests. These might include a breath test, done on a stand-alone machine and not the portable device at the scene, which will provide instantaneous results as well as a blood test to check your alcohol levels. If you have contacted a Tempe DUI attorney he or she might advise you to secure a sample of your blood for independent testing.


DUI Booking


The final stage of the DUI arrest process is usually booking. Often this is done in a police station, but could be done at a mobile DUI processing station. The booking process will most likely include further questioning, especially personal information.


Arizona DUI Attorney Kyle T. Green


As a Tempe DUI Attorney I can help reduce the punishment and consequences of a Tempe DUI charge and answer your questions about the status of your driver’s license and case. Call me at 480-331-7568 to schedule a no obligation case review where you can meet me and we can go over specifics as they relate to you and your questions. Next and same day appointments are often available and I look forward to working with you.

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