Michael A. Ferraro, Esq., P.C.
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Reasonable suspicion’s role in drunk driving stops

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2023 | DWI defense |

Nobody ever wants to see the flashing lights of a police vehicle behind them. This is even truer if you’re on your way home from a night that involved a little alcohol.

What many people don’t realize is that police officers aren’t allowed to stop vehicles without reason. The standard that they must meet for this is reasonable suspicion, which means that a reasonable person would have thought that there was a law being broken based on the same situation the police officer saw.

What could a driver do that meets the reasonable suspicion standard?

There are many actions that can happen that are all associated with impaired driving that law enforcement officials watch for. Some examples include:

  • Braking without good reason
  • Turning without a signal
  • Swerving in and out of lanes
  • Failing to obey signs and signals
  • Driving too fast or too slow
  • Failing to turn on headlights when required

Once the officer initiates the stop, they try to determine what’s going on. This can lead to them asking a person to take a roadside breath test or a field sobriety test. While you have the right to refuse those, refusal can lead to penalties under the implied consent laws. If the officer’s investigation leads to probable cause that a driver is impaired, the officer will conduct an arrest.

Anyone facing criminal charges for driving while impaired should ensure they learn about their options for a defense. This might include calling the reason for the stop into question. Working with someone who knows about the facts in your case and the impaired driving laws is beneficial because they can help you evaluate your options.