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.