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When can the police initiate a stop for suspected drunk driving?

| Apr 8, 2021 | Business And Commercial Litigation

Seeing the flashing lights of a police vehicle behind your car can make your heart stop. The situation can get a lot worse, however, if you end up charged with drunk driving as a result of that stop.

It’s important to note that an improper traffic stop can be part of your defense. Police officers must have reasonable suspicion that you’re committing a crime, have committed a crime, or are breaking the applicable driving laws and statutes before they can stop you.

What is reasonable suspicion?

Reasonable suspicion means that the officer sees something amiss. In the case of a suspected drunk driving stop, they might see one or more of the signs of impairment. These include:

  • Stopping suddenly and without cause
  • Weaving between lanes
  • Straddling the centerline
  • Hitting or almost hitting roadside objects
  • Failing to obey posted traffic signs or traffic signals
  • Driving at inappropriate speeds

It’s sometimes possible that a driver will be stopped without the officer seeing those signs and end up being arrested for drunk driving. An example of this is if the car has a broken brake light. When the officer lets the driver know, they might smell alcohol in the vehicle and evaluate the driver for impairment. 

What should you do if you’ve been arrested for drunk driving?

Anyone who’s arrested for drunk driving should ensure they learn their defense options quickly. Your attorney can help you to determine your defense options and approach your case as strategically as possible. Don’t let a single mistake affect the rest of your future without a fight, so speak to an experienced advocate today.