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What Should I Do During a DUI Stop?

The moment you are pulled over, you may start to feel the world fall out from under you, and doubly so if you know for certain you have not committed an act worthy of being pulled over. You may start reviewing in your mind if you actually did do something wrong and how you might prove you didn’t do anything wrong, all before the police officer even walks to your driver-side window. In this blog post, you’ll learn about the laws around a police DUI stop, and how your lawyer can challenge a DUI charge. If you suspect you were pulled over for a DUI without adequate reason, don’t hesitate to call a Marquette DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

What Is a DUI Stop?

“DUI” is short for driving under the influence. A DUI stop is when a police officer pulls you over because they suspect you of driving under the influence of a prohibited level of drugs or alcohol.

The Fourth Amendment in the United States Constitution has a body of jurisprudence that states that the police cannot pull you over without “reasonable suspicion” that you’ve committed a civil infraction. The reasonable suspicion standard means the office must have more than a hunch. Rather, the officer needs to be able to clearly state what his suspicion was. Depending on the circumstances, the officer may argue that you were weaving or drifting in your lane, that you failed to stop at a stop sign, or that you failed to use a turn signal when turning to the right.

It’s important to point out that the officer can use these or any other argument about your driving skills as a pretext to stop you. The officer only needs a legitimate reason to stop you, regardless of whether they are using that reason as a pretext.

However, if the officer pulls you over but hasn’t even observed you commit an infraction or if the officer is merely afraid that you’ll drive out of their jurisdiction, then your lawyer may be able to contest these stops. Should your lawyer be successful, all charges may be dismissed.

What Happens During a DUI Stop?

After stopping you, the officer will likely examine your appearance, your behavior, and your speech. They’ll be looking for signs of drunkenness, such as red eyes or difficulty speaking. In some cases, individuals may directly admit they are drunk. It’s possible the officer may tell you to take a field sobriety test or a Breathalyzer chemical test.

The reason for these requests is that the officer is trying to decide whether they have probable cause to arrest you. Unlike the “reasonable suspicion” standard, “probable cause” requires that the “articulable facts and circumstances within an officer’s knowledge are sufficient to warrant a prudent person or one of reasonable caution to believe that the suspect has committed, is committing, or is about to commit an offense.” As with the initial stop, your lawyer may argue that the police officer misused any of these methods to get your charges dismissed.

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