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Where were you arrested? A DUI is a state offense, but each jurisdiction handles them slightly differently.

Best practices for an Arizona sobriety checkpoint

A host of questions can flood your mind as you approach a DUI checkpoint in Scottsdale or other parts of the Valley of the Sun.

Are you required to go through the sobriety checkpoint? Must you answer all questions? Should you perform a roadside sobriety test? Let’s take a look at some of the questions that are likely to come up as you see the flashing lights of a sobriety checkpoint ahead.

The first decision to make when you see a DUI checkpoint ahead is whether or not you want to go through it. You are not legally required to go through a checkpoint, though you must be careful when taking steps to avoid it.

Obey all traffic laws as you pull onto a side street or perform a U-turn (if allowed). Drive at safe speeds and use turn signals as you navigate away from the checkpoint. Failing to do so can give police reason to pull you over.

If you decide to go through the checkpoint, slow your vehicle as you approach and hand over your driver’s license and proof of insurance when they’re requested.

Expect to be asked at the checkpoint if you’ve been drinking. If you haven’t, be sure to state clearly and politely that you have not had any alcohol. If you have had a drink, it can be best to say simply and politely, “I don’t want to answer that.” Admissions of drinking such as “I only had one” or “I had a couple of drinks several hours ago” can be used against you.

Lastly, if you are asked to take a field sobriety test, remember that in Arizona it is unwise to take these tests. If you decline to perform tests such as walking in a straight line, touching your nose with eyes closed and so on, it is best to do so politely.

Remember, too, that if you have been arrested on a DUI charge that you have the right to remain silent and to speak to a drunk driving defense attorney who can protect your freedom and driving privileges.

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We play an active role in the civic life of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
We support Scottsdale's Taste of the Town festival that benefits the local chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association as well as the annual Toys for Tots campaign. Our firm also contributes to a number of other local organizations, including Home 'Fur' Good, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating the euthanasia of adoptable homeless cats and dogs in Maricopa County.
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