The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects Americans from unlawful searches and seizures. Law enforcement has numerous powers, but these must not infringe on the liberty of individuals.
You may think the police can pull you over any time they like, but this is not the case. To conduct a lawful traffic stop, law enforcement must generally have reasonable suspicion that a criminal offense has occurred. Outlined below are some driving behaviors that could be classified as reasonable suspicion.
The road doesn’t belong to any one person. It has to be shared by the wider public. This means that there really is no place for erratic driving maneuvers. If you’re constantly changing lanes, making sharp turns or passing people carelessly, it’s highly likely that you’ll be stopped by the police.
Breaking the speed limit
There are specific speed limits in place on all roads. For the most part, the purpose of these is to prevent traffic accidents. Speeding is an offense in itself, and it can also produce the reasonable suspicion required to conduct further investigation into a possible DUI.
Reasonable suspicion is not enough for DUI charges
An officer may suspect you of being impaired, but this is not enough to be charged with a crime. There must be further evidence that provides the standard of proof known as probable cause. Examples of this include slurring your words, failing a breathalyzer test, smelling of alcohol and admitting that you have been drinking.
Even if you have been arrested and charged, it is still up to the prosecution to establish your guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. Having legal guidance on your side will help you determine the best possible strategy.