No matter how much you’ve had to drink, an officer cannot pull you over without probable cause to believe you’ve committed a traffic violation or a reasonable suspicion you’re engaged in criminal activity. Most folks charged with DUI or DUAC get pulled over for traffic violations. The exception is roadblocks, which can actually make it harder for the police to get a conviction if they don’t do it right.
When you look at common reasons we see clients stopped before a DUI arrest, you realize most of these violations could happen without the driver having consumed a drop of alcohol:
- Failure to stay in a lane. This ranges from just touching the lane line to going across lanes, weaving back and forth, or straddling lane lines.
- Improper lane change. Forgetting to use your blinker doesn’t mean you’re impaired.
- Improper turn. Whether you turned too wide often depends on who’s judging it—a regular person or an officer who’s naturally suspicious you’ve done something wrong.
- Ignoring traffic lights or signs. No doubt missing a YIELD sign or scooting through the intersection just as the light turns from amber to red is dangerous. However, distraction or inattention is just as likely as intoxication to be the reason.
- Speeding. Everyone does that. We’ve even had officers admit on the stand they speed, too.
- No headlights. In a well-lit area, you can just forget to turn on your lights.
Don’t Get Pushed Around by Law Enforcement or the Prosecutor
A cop may pull you over on the basis of a claimed traffic violation. He may then decide you’re intoxicated and arrest you, even without administering a sobriety test.
The fact of the matter is that a traffic violation doesn’t automatically establish that you were driving while drunk. Even crashes don’t mean you can be proven impaired—and issues arise from these cases that can actually make a conviction impossible or too hard for the prosecutor to win.
It’s our job to find the argument that may lead to charges being dismissed or reduced…to get you the best outcome available for the situation.
In the end, even if your driving was not perfect, you may still have defenses you don’t know about. If you’ve been stopped for DUI or DUAC, download our free report to learn the secrets to avoiding a DUI conviction. Call us immediately at 864.582.0416 or toll-free at 888.230.1841 for a free meeting to start contesting the reason you got charged.