If you have found yourself arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you may have a case for dismissal. The way the stop was carried out must pass legal scrutiny and you will need a criminal law attorney to help you fight the charges. Read on to find out why your DUI stop might not have been legit.
Why Were You Stopped?
In the chaos and stress caused by a DUI arrest, the way the stop went down might have slipped your mind. The police cannot just stop you for no reason whatsoever – there must be a legitimate reason for them to hit the blue lights in the first place. For example, if you are seen leaving a bar one night, and a patrolman stops you a block or so down the road, the fact that you just left a bar is not a good enough reason to stop you.
Grounds for a Stop
Just so you know, the stop does not necessarily have to be on the grounds of suspicion of DUI. If your driving behavior is in any way a violation, you can always be stopped. Some common reasons for stopping vehicles include:
1. Faulty or missing vehicle equipment, such as a burned out taillight or an expired tag.
2. Violation of a traffic law, such as running a stop sign or failing to maintain a single lane.
3. Erratic driving, such as driving too slowly or spending too much time at a traffic light that has turned green.
The reason for the stop will be noted by law enforcement using the arrest report and dash cam footage. If you were stopped for a legitimate reason, then other areas of the stop should then be scrutinized.
If the stop was not legit, you may have evidence to fight the charge. This aspect of the case is so important that the entire case could be dismissed as a result – regardless of what happened after the stop was initiated
Sobriety Checkpoints: Legit or Not?
In some states, officers are permitted to randomly stop vehicles to check for drunk drivers. In the places where these checkpoints are allowed, there are strict rules that must be followed to avoid trampling on a motorist's Constitutional rights.
Reasonable cause is not an issue with this type of stop, as long as there is no bias in the way the motorists are stopped and checked. It must be entirely random in nature. Additionally, the checkpoint must be publicized and can only be conducted for a few hours at a time. If you discern anything illegal about a DUI stop and arrest, consult a criminal defense lawyer.