Villarini & Henry, L.L.P.
888-834-8623 716-312-1136

What counts as reasonable suspicion for a DWI stop?

When police suspect that you are driving while intoxicated, they will pull you over.

Arrests for DWIs are not uncommon, as law enforcement arrested over one million drivers in 2014. How do you know if the police had the right to pull you over? What happens if they did not have a reason to pull you over?

What is reasonable suspicion?

A police officer cannot pull you over for no reason. For an officer to pull you over and ask if you have been drinking, they need “reasonable suspicion.” Usually, the police gain reasonable suspicion by surveying the way someone drives or the condition of their car. Sometimes, a police officer will pull over an individual because of a broken tail light, but suspect driving while intoxicated after approaching the driver.

Other signs that indicate drunk driving include:

  • Swerving lanes
  • Erratic speed
  • Hitting, or nearly hitting, a car or object
  • Illegal turns
  • Running red lights

In order to actually arrest you, the officer needs to have probable cause. For example, you failed the field sobriety tests or breathalyzer test.

What if the police did not have reasonable suspicion?

If the police stop you and arrest you for a DWI without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, a judge may deem the evidence inadmissible or even throw out a case.

DWI arrests can be complicated, especially when determining if the officer ad reasonable suspicion to pull you over and probable cause to arrest you. If they do not have these things, it may be beneficial to your case.

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