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What is reasonable suspicion in drunk driving cases?

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2020 | DUI |

A person who’s facing a drunk driving charge needs to explore all the possible defense strategies they have with their attorney. While you might be focused on what happened from the time you were arrested until now, there are some considerations prior to your arrest that should be carefully considered.

One factor that you need to think about is why the officer decided to conduct the traffic stop in the first place. Police aren’t allowed to just stop you because they feel like it. Instead, they have to have reasonable suspicion that you’ve committed a crime. In the case of suspicion of drunk driving, there are several signs the officer might have noticed that led them to stop your vehicle. Some of these include:

  • Driving too fast or slow
  • Weaving in and out of lanes
  • Almost hitting roadside objects
  • Braking without cause frequently
  • Making an illegal turn
  • Driving erratically
  • Failing to obey signs and signals
  • Being involved in a crash

While the officer needs only reasonable suspicion to conduct the traffic stop, they need to have probable cause, which is a higher standard, to arrest you. This is a bit more thorough because they need to have evidence that you most likely were drunk. This is typically obtained via a chemical test, such as a blood test or Breathalyzer, or a standardized field sobriety test. 

You can face considerable penalties for this type of charge. You must ensure that you review all possible defense strategy components. Your attorney can’t help you to evaluate these and develop a strategy for your case. Make sure you consult your attorney prior to taking any action on your case.