One thing to know about driving under the influence (DUI) charges is that the police need a reason to stop you in the first place. It protects your right to go about your daily business without constant police hassle.
The two reasons they can stop you are:
- It is an official DUI checkpoint
- They have reasonable suspicion that you broke the law
If it is a checkpoint, you need to investigate if the checkpoint was set up and operated according to state requirements. If it was not, then a court may invalidate the charge.
What if they stopped you while driving?
When reviewing your case, you need to ask yourself: “What law did the police think I was breaking?”
If they had a warrant for your arrest or a gas station reported someone robbing them and driving away in a car matching yours, it is probably futile to argue the police had no reason to stop you.
If they pulled you over for a broken taillight, jumping a light or speeding, you might struggle to argue the stop was illegal. Yet, many times, the reason for the stop is less solid. For instance, if the police claim you were driving in a way that suggested you were impaired, you need to discover what they saw.
Maybe they say you delayed a few seconds before pulling away at the light. There could be many explanations for this. Or, perhaps they claim you swerved suddenly. Again there are several possible explanations – for instance, a wasp entered the window and scared you, or you dropped a cup of hot coffee on your lap.
Challenging the reason the police stopped you is one of several ways to fight a DUI charge. Getting legal help to understand the full range of options increases the chance you find one that works.