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Police officers must have a reason to initiate a DUI stop

There are several different points that can be considered as part of a drunk driving defense. In some cases, the reason why a person was pulled over by law enforcement officers can have an impact on the case. Police officers must have reasonable suspicion to believe that you are impaired in order to pull you over for drunk driving. Of course, if the police officer pulls you over for something else and happens to notice that you are impaired, that would also be a valid traffic stop.

Police officers have several specific markers that police officers can look for when people are on the road. These include swerving over the center line or out of the lane they are driving in, braking frequently or driving in an erratic manner. Many others are also possible, so it is important to explore the possible cues for reasonable suspicion if you think that the officer didn’t have a valid reason for the traffic stop.

Once the traffic stop is initiated, the officer will try to determine if there is probable cause to arrest the driver for drunk driving. Probable cause is a much more strict requirement than reasonable suspicion. There must be evidence present that shows that the driver most likely committed the crime of driving drunk.

If the elements of reasonable suspicion for the stop and probable cause for the arrest aren’t present, you might be able to bring that information up in your defense. Learning how to do this can help you as work on your defense strategy for the drunk driving charges.

Source: FindLaw, “What is Reasonable Suspicion for a DUI Stop?,” accessed Nov. 16, 2016

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