Understanding reasonable suspicion for DUI stops

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2022 | DUI |

When the police pull you over, it’s required that the officer has “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity. 

Once an officer pulls you over based on reasonable suspicion, they have the legal right to conduct a limited investigation. If the investigation results in the officer believing you are intoxicated, then additional testing may be required. 

What is reasonable suspicion?

The term “reasonable suspicion” means that you have engaged in some action that makes an officer believe you may have been drinking or otherwise engaging in illegal activity. Examples of things considered reasonable suspicion include making an illegal turn, braking frequently, erratic driving and similar unusual actions while on the road. 

An officer can also legally pull you over for issues related to malfunctioning equipment. In these situations, the initial reason for the stop doesn’t have to be the only issue addressed. The officer can conduct an additional investigation if they believe you are intoxicated after speaking to you about the malfunctioning equipment on your vehicle. 

What if an officer can’t prove reasonable suspicion for pulling you over?

If you are arrested for DUI but believe the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over, it may be possible to use this as a defense for your charges. However, proving this is challenging in some cases, so it is best to know your legal options. 

When pulled over, the officer has the right to detain you and investigate any suspicion of criminal activity, as long as they have reasonable suspicion for pulling you over. Understanding this aspect will help you know if this is a right that was violated by the officer that pulled you over, and it may be a way to have DUI charges against you dismissed.