Perhaps you’ve been out with some friends at a local hangout, or maybe you are on your way home from an enjoyable dinner with family. Seeing flashing lights in your rearview mirror can ruin any evening, especially if it results in an arrest and DUI charge. Before you know it, you are facing the possibility of serious criminal penalties and other consequences that can impact your life.
As a Virginia driver, you may find it especially useful to be aware of the reasons why law enforcement may pull someone over for suspected drunk driving. Police must have a valid reason to stop a driver, and without one, your entire case may be invalid. In preparation of your defense, you may want to carefully evaluate the circumstances of the original traffic stop.
Grounds to stop a driver
Everyone has rights granted to them by the Constitution. Police cannot stop people, question them or arrest them without valid grounds to do so. There are specific things that police have to look for when stopping someone for suspected DUI, called reasonable suspicion. Some behaviors that count as reasonable suspicion include:
- A driver drifting from one lane to another or having trouble maintaining his or her lane
- Driving at erratic speeds, including starting and stopping erratically
- Coming too close to hitting other vehicles that are either parked or moving
- Stopping in the middle of the road for no reason or applying the brakes too hard
These are only a few of the reasons why a law enforcement officer could pull you over for suspected drunk driving. What happens, however, if there was no valid reason to make the traffic stop? What if you refused a breath test because you did nothing wrong and you still lost your license or were placed under arrest? Many circumstances may merit challenging the case against you, starting with your arrest.
You defense starts now
Defending yourself after a drunk driving arrest can start as soon as possible after an arrest. Whether it’s your first offense or you have previous DUIs in your criminal history, you do not have to fight the charges against you alone. Your future is worth protecting, and you can do this best with the help of an experienced defense attorney. You can start this process simply by reaching out in a timely manner and seeking a complete evaluation of your case.