DUI Stops and Police Officer Conduct

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When Can an Officer Pull Someone over for a DUI?

Generally, a police officer that suspects an individual is driving while under the influence of alcohol must have a "reasonable suspicion" that a driver has been drinking. This simply means a police officer must have observed something in an individuals driving or conduct that might indicate he or she is under the influence of alcohol. It is worth noting that an officer may be able to gather this suspicion after conducting a lawful stop for another reason, say for instance, expired tags or failure to yield.

Therefore, police officers typically have a wide latitude in determining whether or not they suspect someone to be intoxicated. 

What If the Driver Has Not Had Any Drinks?

A person that is pulled over by a police officer under suspicion of driving while intoxicated should comply with police officers requests. Some states require field sobriety tests. Passing the tests will likely mean an individual can safely drive away without any further difficulty.  However, these tests are highly subjective and it is possible for someone who has not been drinking to still fail.

What If the Driver Does Not Pass Sobriety Tests?

An individual that hasn't been drinking but has been instructed by a police officer that he or she hasn't adequately passed a field sobriety test should comply with the officer's demands. Generally, a police officer will take a person into custody and will be booked.

Should I Consult an Attorney?

An individual that has been arrested should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney can help to evaluate any evidence of law enforcement officials and determine the credibility of each piece of evidence.

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Last Modified: 10-22-2014 07:00 PM PDT

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