Officers have a host of powers at their disposal but these are counterbalanced by the rights of free citizens. As a law-abiding citizen, law enforcement is not entitled to interfere with your life without justification. This includes when you are driving your motor vehicle.
To legitimately pull you over on suspicion of DUI, law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion. But what does this mean? Outlined below are a few important things to remember.
What is reasonable suspicion?
Essentially, reasonable suspicion means that law enforcement has a legitimate reason to believe that you may be impaired. If you’re driving excessively fast, this could count as reasonable suspicion. If you’re struggling to keep the vehicle in a straight line, this could also amount to reasonable suspicion. Once officers have this, they are within their rights to pull you over and potentially carry out breathalyzer tests or field sobriety checks.
More is needed for a DUI arrest
The above behaviors are not enough to charge and arrest you for DUI. Probable cause, a higher standard of proof is needed for an arrest. This means that after pulling you over, officers have found further evidence of intoxication. You may have failed a Breathalyzer test, slurred your words, or smelled of alcohol. Subsequently, an arrest might follow.
Being accused of DUI does not automatically mean you are guilty. You have a right to a fair trial in which you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Having legal guidance will help you to come up with the best possible defense strategy in your case.