Imagine driving through Lancaster on a Friday night. After spending a few hours with your friends at your favorite bar, you decide to head home for the night. Halfway to your house, a police officer pulls you over. The next thing you know, you are in the back of a squad car and heading to jail.
Law enforcement officers must have reasonable suspicion that you are intoxicated in order to pull you over for the purpose of charging you with driving under the influence (DUI). To find out more about reasonable suspicion and what it means, read further.
There are several behavior that a driver might display to make a police officer think he or she is drunk. For example, making an illegal turn, crossing into other lanes, and having close calls with other cars or objects can cause an officer to pull you over for drunk driving.
In order for a law enforcement officer to stop an individual, the officer must have reasonable suspicion that the person committed some sort of crime. During the stop, the officer will conduct a limited investigation to determine if the suspicion was accurate. For example, if you were speeding, then you have broken the law and a police officer has enough reasonable suspicion to pull you over. However, if you were following the law in totality and a police officer stopped you, there might be a basis for the court to dismiss any resulting criminal charge.
While the law requires a police officer to have reasonable suspicion of a crime in order to make an initial stop, there must be probable cause for the officer to make an arrest. In other words, the officer must have enough evidence of wrongdoing before placing you under arrest.
If you are facing a DUI charge, it is important to remember that you still have rights and options. You can fight back against the charges and possibly avoid a conviction with the right defense.