PRETEXTUAL STOPS-PART III: TAILLAMPS, BRAKE LAMPS & HEADLIGHTS

Headlights, taillights, brake lights, and license plate lights– claimed vehicle equipment lighting violations police tend to use as an excuse or pretext to stop a vehicle late at night and conduct a DUI investigation.

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Pretext Stops for DUI in Tucson

Sometimes the police commit the same traffic infractions themselves. The police transparently use these purported “infractions” as bold excuses (or “pretexts”), to investigate the drivers for DUI. And they have generally been very successful at it.

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More on Arizona DUI Pretext Stops: Wide Turns, Blinkers, and Tailgating

Last time, we spoke about one particular sometimes spurious excuse that DUI police in Arizona tend or in some cases love to use to justify late night stops: ARS 28-729.1 “touching” or momentarily “crossing” a lane divider. Today I want to speak with you about some other sometimes equally spurious reasons police use to justify late night DUI stops.

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New Technologies and Apps for Alcohol Detection and DUI Prevention Could Reduce DUI and Present New Legal Questions

There are exhaustive amounts of DUI case law that address the level of reasonable suspicion needed for a DUI stop, when and how breathalyzers and blood tests can be used as scientific evidence of impairment, and how field sobriety tests must be conducted to be used as evidence of probable cause for arrest. But, new technologies for alcohol detection that are currently available or will soon be available are likely to result in new case law that addresses the accuracy and use of these technologies to make legal determinations of impairment or impose other collateral consequences on impaired drivers.

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Who Can Find Out About My Arizona DUI Arrest or Conviction?

If you are convicted of DUI in Arizona, this information will be shared with various governmental entities and private parties can also access the information through certain channels. Even before you are convicted, there could be certain parties that receive notice of your arrest. This means that, in addition to jail time and restrictions on your ability to drive, even the accusation of a DUI can have long-lasting impacts on your ability to work in your profession, your professional reputation, your immigration status, and even your ability to travel to certain other countries.

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Consenting to Blood Draws

Consenting to Blood Draws: When the police tell you the consequences of refusal, they don’t automatically make your consent “involuntary,” says the Arizona Supreme Court. In virtually every DUI case, the police request that the driver voluntarily submit to a post-arrest breath or blood test. These requests occur in coercive circumstances, e.g., the driver may be handcuffed and in the back of a police vehicle. But Arizona law also incentivizes blood draws by penalizing drivers who refuse testing with a one-year license suspension and requiring the police to explain these consequences in real time before requesting consent.

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Breath Test Reliability Challenged

The New York Times recently published an article challenging the reliability of breath tests used in DUI prosecutions nationwide. While the reporter appeared to conclude that breath tests could be reliable, the article also found that they often could not be counted upon in practice. Problems occurred in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington and numerous other states, and affected breath test equipment manufactured by almost every leading company. In some states, fundamental flaws in breath testing have led to the dismissal of thousands of convictions.

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Can I Get a DUI in Arizona for Driving After Using Kratom?

There are several new “kratom” cafes and shops in Tucson. Before you try out one of these new places, you should know that if you are under the influence of kratom and your driving is impaired, it is possible to get a DUI or reckless driving charge in Arizona.

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Do the Police Need A Warrant To Draw Blood from an Unconscious DUI suspect?

In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued a series of opinions that explain what the police must do to satisfy the Fourth Amendment when conducting a blood draw or a breath test for a DUI investigation. In 2013, the Court decided that, in most circumstances, the police need a warrant to conduct a blood test without a person’s consent. But in 2016, the Court held that a warrant is not required to conduct a breath test incident to a motorist’s arrest. In 2019, the Court decided Mitchell v. Wisconsin, which held that a warrant is not required for a blood test, too, provided that the motorist is unconscious and, therefore, cannot consent to a draw or give a breath test.

Read: Do the Police Need A Warrant To Draw Blood from an Unconscious DUI suspect?

Arizona DUI’s & Healthcare Professionals: Three Things You Should Know

This article will cover a few basic initial thoughts for licensed healthcare professionals in Arizona, who are charged with misdemeanor DUIs.

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