What to do when pulled over for suspicion of drug use
Police officers can spot driving behaviors that may indicate intoxication or a driver under the influence of drugs. When they pull you over, they will look for other indicators such as watery or red eyes, difficulty speaking and the inability to walk normally.
Not all officers can recognize drug use, which is why they will occasionally call in a Drug Recognition Expert or attempt to get you to take a field sobriety test. If this does not happen, however, your chances of having your charges dismissed are better.
According to Arizona state laws, if an officer asks you to take the field sobriety test and you refuse, this will automatically result in a one-year suspension of your driver’s license if it is your first offense. The suspension increases to two years for second and third offenses. While you cannot do much about the appearance of your eyes, if you otherwise do not show physical side effects of impairment, there are some things you want to do when the officer pulls you over to avoid further DUI suspicion.
- Pull over calmly and safely: Slow down at a normal pace and find a safe place to pull over, and do not forget to turn your hazard lights on.
- Do not make any suspicious movements: Be sure to keep your hands on the wheel, and do not turn around or move anything on the seat next to you.
- Be polite and honest: If you are rude, there is a better chance the police will arrest you. If the officer asks questions, do not lie, but you also do not want to incriminate yourself; if you decide to politely decline questions, there is a chance that they will arrest you or take your license on the spot. It is up to you to decide what would provide you with a better outcome.
Being pulled over with the suspicion of impaired driving can result in serious consequences. Knowing what to do after these situations is vital if you want to avoid a year (or more) of license suspension.