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What should I know about reasonable suspicion in DUI cases?

Drunk driving stops are the nightmare of people who know they have had a few drinks. When you see those flashing lights, your heart probably seemed to drop into your stomach. Now that you are facing drunk driving charges, there are several points that you need to consider as part of your defense. One of these might be why the officer pulled you over in the first place.

What is reasonable suspicion in a drunk driving stop?

Reasonable suspicion means that the circumstances present led the officer to have a reason to think that you were intoxicated. This is a much lower standard than probable cause. Police officers receive training that helps them to spot a drunk driver. If you were exhibiting any of those signs, you would likely be pulled over.

What are some of the signs they look for?

Police officers look for signs like weaving between lanes, driving in the dark without headlights on, driving too fast, driving too slowly, stopping when there isn't any need to stop, not obeying traffic control signs and devices, failing to use a turn signal and riding the brakes. Other signs might also be present. In some cases, you might be pulled over for another violation and then the officer determines that you might be intoxicated.

You might be able to call the officer's reasonable suspicion for initiating the traffic stop into question as part of your defense. This is only one option that you have, so be sure to consider all the options available before you decide what you are going to do.

Source: FindLaw, "What is Reasonable Suspicion for a DUI Stop?," accessed March 31, 2017

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