Officers sometimes use reasonable suspicion to initiate a stop

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2019 | DWI/DUI Defense, Firm News

Now that the warmer months are here, people are going to be out enjoying bonfires and outdoor activities with friends. There are many things that go on at these events. One of them is that alcoholic beverages might be present. If this is the case, anyone who is driving must ensure that they avoid the drinks or they might run the risk of facing a drunk driving charge.

Even though you might think you are fine to drive, your body and mind might have subtle changes that make it impossible for you to remain safe on the road. Oftentimes, others will notice your impairment before you do. Police officers, for example, will look for specific signs of impairment as they watch drivers.

When an officer sees something that doesn’t seem right with a driver, they can pull that person over. This is known as having reasonable suspicion. The criteria for this is much lower than that of probable cause. In order to meet the standard of reasonable suspicion, the officer only has to think that you are impaired.

Some of the actions that might lead to this include swerving or stopping suddenly. Hitting or almost hitting objects on the side of the road and straddling the centerline also fall under this. Basically, anything that makes it appear as though a driver is struggling to operate the vehicle can be enough to warrant a stop.

When a person is stopped, the officer will try to determine whether they are impaired or not. This is done through several methods, but will often include a field sobriety test and a chemical test. You should learn about your rights regarding these in case you are ever stopped and asked to submit to them.