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What is reasonable suspicion during a traffic stop?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2022 | Drunk Driving Defense

When you’re driving, you are probably aware that you are only allowed to do so because you’re licensed and have agreed to follow the rules of the road. If you are driving in a dangerous way or violate the law in some way, a police officer has the right to pull you over.

Once you’re pulled over, it’s possible that they could ask you to take a Breathalyzer test to see if you’ve been drinking. By law, this is completely legal since you’ve already been stopped. With implied consent laws, you’ve already given permission for the sample by accepting the license to drive.

Are all drivers suspected of DWIs?

During every traffic stop, officers look for signs that you may be impaired. They may ask you to roll down your window to obtain your license and registration or proof of insurance, for example, and then be looking for signs of drinking like open containers or the smell of alcohol.

Since DWIs aren’t only possible from drinking alcohol, the officer may also be looking for signs of drug use when they peer into your vehicle. It’s a good idea to only crack your window enough to allow the officer to obtain your information.

Reasonable suspicion is required for the initial traffic stop

It is necessary for the officer to have reasonable suspicion before the traffic stop. That means that an officer can’t just pull you over for no reason. Instead, they need to show that you were speeding, weaving in and out of traffic or committing some other kind of offense.

It’s true that something as simple as not stopping completely at a stop sign or having a tail light out could result in being pulled over. From there, the officer has the right to look into the possibility of a DWI.

What if there was no reason for the stop?

If you can show that there was no reason for the stop, then you may be able to get any evidence against you thrown out. Why? If the officer hadn’t violated your rights, they’d have no evidence for a DWI. This is one way to try to defend yourself if you’re accused of a DWI.

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