The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the biggest golf event of the year in Scottsdale. Every January and February, some of the best golfers in the country converge for this fan-friendly stop on the PGA tour.
In addition to excellent spectator opportunities, the Phoenix Open also offers a variety of special events like concerts and after parties where alcohol is served. Unfortunately, this often means that the number of Scottsdale DUI arrests spikes between late January and early February when attendees may choose to drink and drive.
In 2019, the Scottsdale Police Department made 152 DUI stops during the Phoenix Open tournament throughout the city. In addition, there were 33 misdemeanor DUI arrests, one aggravated DUI arrest, and 11 extreme DUI arrests made during the same period.
If you find yourself pulled over after attending the Phoenix Open and arrested or charged with a DUI, you may be unsure of what to expect. Find out everything you need to know about Scottsdale DUI arrests and Arizona DUI laws from the criminal defense team at Lerner and Rowe Law Group.
What Does Arizona Zero Tolerance Mean?
Arizona has some of the toughest DUI legislation across the country. Arizona zero tolerance refers to a police officer’s right to arrest you for DUI if they have observed signs of impairment, even if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is under the legal limit of 0.08. This means that just one drink, depending on your alcohol tolerance, could lead to a DUI charge and conviction.
Can Police Force You to Take a Breathalyzer?
In Scottsdale, you have the legal right to decline field sobriety tests a police officer may ask you to submit to. This includes handheld breathalyzer devices. However, you should keep in mind that refusing to submit to field sobriety tests will likely result in an arrest and an automatic one-year suspension of your Arizona driver’s license.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, politely declining field sobriety tests can be a strategic choice if you’ve been pulled over on suspicion of DUI. Although you cannot legally refuse to submit to a breath test or blood test once you’re arrested, the type of breath test administered in the back of a DUI van or at a police station once you’re in custody is much more accurate in gauging your actual BAC than a handheld breathalyzer.
One exaggerated breathalyzer reading can mean the difference between dropped charges or a lesser charge in Scottsdale DUI arrests.
If you are arrested for DUI in Scottsdale, you have the right not to answer any questions from law enforcement until your legal representation is present. You should still remain polite and comply with police officers’ directions when asked for your license and registration, but choosing not to answer questions can keep you from unintentionally implicating yourself in a crime.
What Are Some Legal Defenses to Scottsdale DUI Arrests?
There are many ways a DUI charge may be reduced or dismissed in Scottsdale. A criminal DUI defense lawyer can investigate the following questions to determine whether or not your rights may have been violated during law enforcement’s investigation or if proper procedure was breached at any point in the case.
- Was there a problem with forensic testing of your breath or blood that would cause the results of your BAC testing to be invalid? Possible issues include the qualifications of the person obtaining the breath or blood sample, whether a proper chain of custody can be established, and whether the machine that tested the sample produced a valid and reliable result.
- Were the field sobriety tests administered properly? Field sobriety tests are subjective and have a low reliability rating for determining impairment. Nonetheless, they are used routinely in Scottsdale DUI arrests to establish probable cause.
- Does the narrative in the police report differ from what actually happened? If so, were there any witnesses present that can be interviewed to contradict the police report? Was there more than one officer present during the investigation? Do the involved officers’ reports conflict in any way?
- Was there a violation of your right to counsel? During a DUI investigation, you have the right to consult with a lawyer prior to giving consent for a blood or breath sample.
- Were you given the opportunity to request independent testing? You have the legal right to request independent testing of any blood or breath sample you are asked to give. Law enforcement must honor this request.
- Did the arresting officer have probable cause? If the officer who arrested you did not have probable cause or reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle in the first place, the case may be dismissed.
Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer for a DUI?
It is worth getting a lawyer in many legal cases, especially Scottsdale DUI arrests. Many factors can complicate your DUI case, such as underage drinking, prior convictions, and violations of Arizona probation rules. Criminal defense lawyers are especially attuned to the tough sentencing laws for Arizona DUIs and can help you present the most effective defense to the court, resulting in mitigated sentences and dismissed charges.
Learn more about dismissals and reduced charges by perusing our past DUI case results.
Who Should You Call After a Scottsdale DUI?
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Scottsdale, contact Lerner and Rowe Law Group today. Our DUI lawyers have years of experience defending our clients in DUI and criminal cases. For your free consultation, contact our office by calling 602-667-7777. You can also speak with a representative online using our LiveChat, or submit your case details now for review by a qualified DUI attorney.
Don’t fight a DUI charge alone. Call us today to find out how we can help.