Posted By DUI Attorney Nick Alcock
If you are pulled over for a DUI offense, what should you do? Should you complete field sobriety tests, but refuse breath or blood tests? What happens if you tell a police officer that you want to speak with a DUI lawyer? The answers might surprise you.
Phoenix DUI attorney Nick Alcock knows that people unfortunately get pressured into answering questions that they don’t have to. “The problem is that the police act as if drivers need to answer questions,” Alcock states. “Obviously there is a big difference in power between a stopped motorist and a police officer. An officer can order someone out of a car and in the next breath ask them if they will complete field sobriety tests. It is very difficult to say no.”
The reality is that you can always say that you want to speak with a DUI attorney before you submit to any testing whatsoever. The police have the right to examine your license, registration and insurance information. However, they do not have the absolute right to obtain information from you regarding the amount of alcohol you consumed, and whether or not you feel impaired by that alcohol.
When you ask to speak with DUI attorneys, the police must stop questioning a suspect. But the request must be clear and direct. Saying, “maybe it would be better if I talk with a lawyer” is probably not enough. The good news is that the police also have to give you a reasonable opportuntity to actually call an attorney before you submit to blood or breath testing, so long as the request does not interfere with their investigation.
You should know, however, that refusing a blood or breath test can lead to a one year suspension of your license. Furthermore, even if you change your mind and later submit to the test, the first refusal can still suspend your license. So to recap, you have the right to speak with a DUI lawyer. You don’t have to submit to field sobriety tests or answer any questions about your actions. You can also refuse a blood or breath test, but doing so can result in your license being suspended for a year and the police can obtain a warrant to forcibly pull your blood.
If you have any questions whatsoever and you would like to speak with our DUI attorneys, please call us at 602-989-5000.