What Does an Officer Need to Stop a Driver for a DUI?

Contrary to what many people believe, an officer needs a reason to pull someone over on the side of the road. No Los Angeles police officer is legally permitted to pull anyone over unless they have a reasonable cause. This is not something everyone is aware of, which is why many people try to say they were pulled over for doing nothing wrong. Perhaps this is true and you did not do anything wrong, but there is a reason the officer believes you did.

– Someone called 911 and reported your vehicle of poor driving or other suspicious activity
– The officer witnessed erratic driving or you were breaking the law
– Someone else witnessed you breaking the law

There are many reasons an LA officer can pull you over without any question, but you should always be sure they can pull you over legally. This is why officers must keep dash cameras in their vehicles. It helps them provide much-needed evidence when criminals try to tell the court they did nothing wrong before they were pulled over. If you were stopped for a DUI, you need to know if the officer had a reason to pull you over. If he or she does not notate the reason for pulling you over in the police report, they do not have probable cause. This could result in your attorney demanding the charges are dropped because the officer did not follow the rules.

Examples of Probable Cause

Now that you know you cannot be pulled over and charged with a DUI in California for no reason other than you were unlucky enough to become a target, you must learn what constitutes probable cause in LA. These are just a few of the most common reasons an officer can pull you over and charge you with a DUI.

Reckless Driving/Breaking the Law – If an officer of the law watches you driving recklessly or breaking the law, that is a good enough reason to pull you over. If they then suspect you are drinking or under the influence of drugs, they can ask you to perform a field sobriety test, blow into a breathalyzer, or submit to a blood alcohol test. Be warned there are dozens of things that might fall into this category such as speeding, passing in a no passing zone, running a red light, or breaking any other laws while driving.

You’ve Been Reported – There are many reasons someone might report you for bad driving. They might see you in a bar drinking all afternoon and call the police when you get into your car. They know you can’t possibly be sober, and they call 911 and report your car and your license. They might see you do something illegal or dangerous on the road, or they might just call to inform the police you were talking on your phone while driving. If someone reports you and your vehicle, an officer can pull you over even if he or she did witness you do anything wrong.

Reasonable Suspicion – Now that you’ve been pulled over, the officer must have a reasonable suspicion you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both. This might include rapid eye movement, slurred speech, the presence of prescription drugs in your car, the presence of illegal drugs in your car, or the smell of alcohol on your breath. Open containers are a good cause to ask someone to perform a blood alcohol test, too.

If you’ve been pulled over and arrested for a DUI, you need to call a DUI attorney in LA. These are the attorneys who are familiar with DUI law and who can negotiate your charges on your behalf. You can ask your attorney to get the charges dropped by taking your case to court, or you can ask them to plead guilty for a lesser sentence. If you’re a first-time offender, your attorney has more wiggle room in the negotiations department. If you are not a first-time offender, you’re being charged with a Felony DUI even if no one was injured and you did not cause an accident.

If you are being charged with a Felony DUI, you must call an attorney. You need all the help they can offer. Felony DUIs come with much harsher sentences, and judges are less lenient with repeat offenders. Regardless if this is your first or second DUI arrest, however, you’ll find a Los Angeles dui attorney presents you with a much stronger chance of a positive outcome.