In Arizona, the cops have plenty of ways to catch drunk drivers and provide prosecutors with the evidence they need to secure convictions. While there is no excuse for getting drunk and then getting behind the wheel, if you make this mistake, you should do everything you can to mitigate your risk of facing the steep penalties that come with an Arizona DUI.
However, many people do exactly the opposite. Not only do they make the mistake of driving drunk, but they also make the mistake of calling attention to themselves—and essentially inviting the cops to arrest them. If you make the ill-advised decision to get behind the wheel after having too much to drink, you should at least do yourself the favor of not doing anything else that will increase your chances of being arrested.
10 Ways to Signal to the Cops that You are Driving Under the Influence
Officers with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the Arizona Highway Patrol Division are trained to spot the signs of drunk driving. They are also well aware of other activities that are usually indicative of having too much to drink. For example, if you do any of the following, you will be effectively signaling to the cops that you are driving (or about to be driving) under the influence:
1. Stumbling To Your Car
If the police see you stumble to your car, they are going to be left with only one possible conclusion: You are drunk, and you are about to get behind the wheel. At this point, the police can wait for you to get in, and then they can knock on your window before you shift out of park.
Why? Because to be charged with DUI, you do not actually have to be driving your vehicle. You have to be in “physical control,” and sitting in the driver’s seat with the key in hand can be enough to justify an arrest.
2. Getting in a Fight in a Parking Lot
While not everyone who gets in a fight in a parking lot is drunk, many people who get in fights in parking lots are legally impaired. As a result, if a police officer sees you fighting, he or she will be on high alert for the possibility that you are drunk—and that you are going to get in your car or truck and drive away when the fight is over.
3. Driving At Night with Your Headlights Off
Modern vehicles save many drunk drivers from this mistake, but you might need to physically switch on your headlights when you drive at night if you have an older car or truck. If you are driving in the dark without your headlights, the police are going to stop you, and they are going to check to see if your headlights are off because you were too drunk to remember to turn them on.
4. Doing a Bunch of U-Turns
Generally speaking, drivers who are not drunk get in their vehicles and go where they need to go. On the other hand, drunk drivers tend to be aimless, and those who are severely impaired might not be capable of getting safely from point A to point B.
To the police, doing a bunch of U-turns, driving around the block, and passing the same spot multiple times are all signs of possible alcohol impairment. If you do one of these things—especially on a Friday or Saturday night in downtown Phoenix—don’t be surprised if you get pulled over on suspicion of DUI.
5. Screeching Your Tires
Due to the impairing effects of excessive alcohol consumption, drunk drivers also tend to stop and start suddenly. If you screech to a halt at every intersection or peel away from a stoplight or stop sign, this will signal to the cops that you may be driving under the influence.
6. Hitting a Stationary Object And Driving Off
Most drivers don’t hit stationary objects, and, in most cases, those that do get out and inspect their vehicle for any damage. Drunk drivers, on the other hand, are more likely to drive off. If you back into another vehicle, a fence, or any other object, or if you bump a trash can or mailbox when turning onto the road, this will significantly increase your chances of being arrested for DUI.
7. Driving Below the Speed Limit
The police know that most people don’t drive below the speed limit. They also know that driving below the speed limit, especially late at night, tends to signify drunk driving. Of course, you should always obey the law (which is why you shouldn’t drive drunk in the first place); but, if you want to avoid being arrested for DUI, you need to avoid driving well below the speed limit as well.
8. Speeding Home
Another common mistake drunk drivers make is speeding to get home. If you’ve been out drinking, you might think that your best option is to get home and get off of the road as quickly as possible. But, just as the cops consider driving too slow to be a possible sign of drunk driving, excessive speeding is a red flag for drunk driving as well.
9. Sitting at a Stop Sign or Green Light
If you decide to drive drunk, you do not want to lose your concentration or fall asleep at a stop sign or red light. If your vehicle is sitting idle for no reason, not only is this extremely dangerous, but it also signals to the police that you may be alcohol-impaired.
10. Being Oblivious to a Near-Miss Accident
Finally, just as hitting a stationary object and driving off is a sign of impairment, so is being oblivious to a near-miss accident. If the police see you almost cause an accident and continue as though nothing happened, you can be virtually certain that they will pull you over and ask whether you’ve been drinking.
Charged with Drunk Driving? Speak with a Phoenix DUI Defense Lawyer for Free
If you have been arrested for DUI in Arizona after making any of these mistakes, you will need to hire an experienced Phoenix DUI defense lawyer to fight your charge. To get started with a free and confidential consultation, call 480-405-7922 or request an appointment online today.