It’s easy to think that you aren’t too impaired to drive home after you’ve had an evening of drinking. The fact is that even having a couple of drinks could lead to you being too impaired to drive.
During the holiday season, police officers are on the lookout for drunk drivers. If they spot someone they think is drunk, they may initiate a traffic stop.
Reasonable suspicion is required
Police officers can’t just stop any vehicle they feel they want to. Instead, they need to have reasonable suspicion to initiate the stop. This means they see something that a reasonable person would feel suggests the driver is breaking the law.
Some of the more common reasons police officers might initiate a traffic stop include:
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Swerving between traffic lanes
- Driving at inappropriate speeds
- Failing to use turn signals or lights when necessary
- Stopping without any reason
- Driving through stop signs or traffic lights
Once the officer stops someone, they’ll try to figure out what’s going on. If there are signs of drunk driving, they’ll ask the driver to take a chemical or field sobriety test. One thing that people don’t realize is that the BAC level indicated on the preliminary alcohol screening device that’s used for roadside testing isn’t admissible in court. You’ll likely be asked to take a breath test on a stationary machine that’s more accurate and reliable or to take a blood or urine test.
Anyone facing drunk driving charges should ensure they understand the options they have for their defense strategy. One thing that might come into the picture is the reason for the traffic stop that led to your arrest. Discussing the circumstances with someone who’s familiar with these charges may be beneficial.