Anyone may find themselves entangled in the justice system and facing a charge of driving under the influence (DUI). This may be due to an error on the part of the arresting officer or a defective blood alcohol testing device. In other situations, a good person may make one poor decision that affects the rest of their life.
No matter the details of your particular situation, you should know the basics of what to do if charged with a DUI in Lake Havasu City or the surrounding metro area.
The steps to follow after an arrest
The immediate moments after receiving a DUI can feel frightening and disorienting. If you can, however, try to follow these steps:
- Remain calm and polite
One of the best things you can do when interacting with a police officer is to remain respectful. Though you may be feeling frustrated or upset, keep your tone of voice polite. You must provide the officer with your license and proof of ownership. They may also ask for information such as your legal name, birthday and address.
- Remember your rights when it comes to alcohol tests
In Arizona, you have the right to decline field sobriety tests. You also have the right to decline breath or blood alcohol content (BAC) tests, but this can have serious consequences. By refusing these tests, you may automatically lose your driver’s license for one year.
- Request an attorney as soon as possible
The arresting officer will no doubt ask you many questions about whether you have been drinking or using controlled substances. They may also ask to search your car. You should immediately invoke your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Instead of running the risk of incriminating yourself, tell the officer that you would like an attorney present.
Any run-in with the police can feel intimidating. Fortunately, when you remain calm and adhere to the preceding steps, you stand a much better chance of avoiding civil and criminal penalties.