Law enforcement agencies throughout Maricopa County often conduct sobriety checkpoints. Like others who find themselves at such stops, you may be unsure of your rights. As a result, you could incriminate yourself. Therefore, it is important for you to understand your options to help protect yourself from an unwarranted arrest.
When stopped at a DUI checkpoint, the first thing law enforcement typically does is approach your vehicle to ask you some questions. Although you may feel obligated to respond, doing so could provide the authorities with cause to investigate further, or to place you under arrest. You have the right, however, not to speak with law enforcement. Instead, you could opt to give the authorities a card stating you want to exercise your constitutional rights. This includes your right to consult with an attorney before answering any questions and your right to be on your way unless you are being arrested.
In some cases, law enforcement may ask you to perform roadside tests. Performing poorly on field sobriety tests could be used as grounds for your arrest, or for further investigation. While the authorities often neglect to inform you when asking you to perform such tests, they are completely voluntary. As such, you do not have to comply with their requests, unless you have been legally placed under arrest.
If stopped at a DUI checkpoint, you could be asked to perform chemical testing, including a breath, urine or blood test. The results of these tests could be used as evidence at trial, however, they could be of benefit to you if you have not consumed any alcohol. Although you have the right to refuse these tests, you should understand that doing so could result in serious penalties. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended if you refuse a breath test after you have been arrested for DUI.
It is important for you to keep in mind that each case may carry unique circumstances. As such, this post should not be taken as legal advice. Instead, it should be considered general information.