One of the biggest mistakes people make when the police charge them with an offense is thinking they have no right to mount a challenge. Yet, each year many people get the charges against them overturned because of how the police acted. It applies to all charges, including those related to driving under the influence (DUI).
If the police stop you and accuse you of drunk driving, that is not the time to argue with them over their behavior. Arguing with the police will likely lead to more severe problems. Once the police have issued you the ticket, you can then look at your options for contesting how they acted with the help of an attorney.
The police need to follow strict guidelines when stopping you while driving
If the police overreached their authority, that’s always a reason to take action. However, you may still be able to challenge an arrest even if the police were polite as pie from start to finish.
The police cannot stop any driver they like, whenever they like. If they want to stop you, they need specific reasons, like:
- There is an official DUI checkpoint: These checkpoints need prior approval for when and where the police erect them. In addition, they need to be handled correctly and implemented fairly — either stopping every vehicle or using a formula (such as stopping every second car) to ensure fairness.
- They have reasonable suspicion: If the police have reasonable suspicion that you have committed an offense, they can pull you over as you are driving along. For instance, an officer passes you and notices your head falling forward as if you are falling asleep. Alternatively, they could stop you on reasonable suspicion of another crime and then ask you to take a breath test because they think you seem drunk.
Understanding the full range of defense options available to fight DUI charges is essential to preserving your license and liberty.