Next week will be an extremely busy week for bars throughout the Phoenix metro area. Two important events will fall during the week, and this will result in an increase in police presence throughout the region. Thursday, March 17th, is St. Patrick’s Day, and it is also the first day of the first round of the college basketball national championship tournament.

People out celebrating at one of the many events taking place in the city need to know that law enforcement will be on high alert throughout the week looking for impaired drivers. Because of the strong DUI penalties in Arizona, it is important that you understand the possible options that are available to you. This posting discusses some of the steps that you can take if you are stopped by law enforcement and eventually charged with drunk driving. 

What you need to know if you are stopped by law enforcement

If you are pulled over under suspicion of DUI, you need to know that you have rights available to you. Police may request that you participate in field sobriety tests, and you do have the option to refuse to take these tests. This can prevent the officer from having videotaped evidence of you taking these tests to present in court.

However, refusing to take these tests will generally increase the conflict level of the stop. It is likely that the officer will request that you take a blood, breath or chemical test to check your blood-alcohol content. If you refuse to submit to this test, you will lose your license due to the state’s implied consent laws. You will probably find yourself arrested in this situation, and this is an extremely crucial time for the future of your case.

Talk to an attorney before you talk to police

Throughout the entire encounter, police will be looking for evidence that will solidify their DUI case against you. Before you say anything to police, insist that you have your attorney present. An experienced DUI attorney can ensure that you are protected throughout the process, and will take steps to preserve evidence that will support defenses available to you.

Your attorney will also be able to help you make important decisions in your case. It is possible that the prosecution may be willing to make a deal with you based upon the strength or weaknesses in their case. Because the consequences of a DUI conviction are so severe, you need to be clearly informed before you make any decisions about your future.