When a person is stopped by the police for a suspicion of drunk driving, he or she is often very upset about the development. These traffic stops can sometimes lead to the question of what constitutes reasonable suspicion for a DUI stop.
What is reasonable suspicion?
Reasonable suspicion means that the police officer saw or heard something that led them to believe that a driver is intoxicated. In order to pull a vehicle over, the police officer has to have reasonable suspicion that a crime, such as DUI, occurred. When that occurs, the driver can be stopped and detained as part of an investigation into the possible drunk driving.
What are some examples of reasonable suspicion?
Some examples of reasonable suspicion include driving erratically, braking for no reason, drifting in the lanes, straddling the center line, almost getting into accidents or making an illegal turn. Other actions might also constitute reasonable suspicion, so you must find out the reason for the traffic stop when you are stopped. Many police officers will provide this information when they approach your vehicle.
What happens when I am stopped and detained?
If the police officer believes that you are driving drunk, he or she can perform a Breathalyzer test or field sobriety test. This can give the officer evidence to back up his or her suspicion for the drunk driving stop.
If you were stopped for the suspicion of drunk driving, you should discuss what happened when you meet with your attorney. From there, you and your attorney can decide if there was anything amiss about the stop that could be used in your defense against the drunk driving charges.
Source: FindLaw, "What is Reasonable Suspicion for a DUI Stop?," accessed Feb. 19, 2016