Reasonable suspicion is a key legal concept, especially in the context of a DUI traffic stop. In order for a police officer to pull over a driver on suspicion of DUI, they must have reasonable suspicion that the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Failure to establish this could result in suppressed evidence or charges being dismissed. If you have been arrested, contact a DUI attorney right away to ensure the facts of the case can be examined and the process of building your legal defense can begin.
What You Need to Know
In the context of a DUI stop, reasonable suspicion may be established by a variety of factors, like out-of-control driving, excessive speeding, a broken taillight, driving too slowly, erratic lane changing, and more. These factors may be observed by an officer prior to initiating a traffic stop. Once a driver has been pulled over, an officer may take further action, such as administering field sobriety tests or requesting a breathalyzer test, based on their observations and assessment of the situation.
It is important to note that the police must have reasonable suspicion to pull someone over, not just a hunch or intuition. This means that there must be an objective basis for the officer’s belief that the driver is under the influence, and the facts and evidence must support this belief. If there was no reasonable suspicion to pull a driver over, any evidence collected during the stop may be suppressed. This means that the evidence cannot be used against the defendant in court, which may make it more difficult for the prosecution to secure a conviction.
To illustrate, suppose a police driver pulls someone over because they do not like the color of that person’s car. Upon arriving at the driver’s window, the police officer immediately smells alcohol and observes the driver slurring their words. In this case, any evidence the officer obtains, such as breathalyzer results, may be suppressed in court since the officer did not have a valid reasonable suspicion to pull that driver over. However, proving this may be extremely difficult, as it will be the driver’s word against the police officer.
Contact a Naperville DUI Attorney
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