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Law Office of
Ronald A. Cabanayan

DUI ~ Criminal Defense ~ Immigration/Naturalization

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Justice Is On Your Side

When can police officers stop you for suspicion of drunk driving?

On Behalf of | Feb 25, 2021 | DUI Defense

When police officers are out on patrol, they’re watching for a lot of things. Some are keeping an eye on how drivers are operating their vehicles so they can try to stop drunk drivers. This can have a positive impact on society, but it also brings up the possibility of officers being overzealous and stopping vehicles when there isn’t anything wrong with the driver. 

It’s important to remember that police officers can’t stop vehicles for no reason at all. They have to have a valid reason to initiate the traffic stop. The standard for conducting the stop is that the officer needs to have reasonable suspicion that there are laws being broken. In the case of suspicion of drunk driving stops, the officer needs to see a sign that something is amiss. 

What are the common signs of drunk driving?

There are many signs of impaired driving that officers look for when they’re on patrol. While this isn’t a comprehensive list, these are the most common reasons:

  • Speeding or driving too slowly
  • Weaving from one lane to another
  • Braking frequently and without reason
  • Stopping without cause
  • Failing to obey traffic control devices and signs
  • Turning illegally

It’s also possible that an officer will pull a vehicle over for a reason that doesn’t have anything to do with suspicion of drunk driving. Other violations, such as having a taillight out or failing to turn on the headlights, can also result in a traffic stop. 

Anyone who is pulled over for the suspicion of drunk driving will likely be asked to take a chemical test or a field sobriety test to determine if there’s probable cause for an arrest. If you’re arrested, you should consult your attorney to learn your options for a defense strategy.