Can you be stopped for DUI if there was no traffic violation committed? 6 Answers as of July 04, 2013

I was stopped for a DUI. The officer says that he saw me back up too far out of a parking spot, I did not cross the center line or getting any other cars way. He also says that he saw me leave the bar and then that I stumbled getting out of my car to enter a gas station. As I pulled down a side street to go home this officer was sitting head on (he was on the wrong side of the rd) to me and turned on his lights. All told I traveled maybe 200 yards and was stopped with out even a minor traffic violation. How can he stop me for that? Doesn't he need a reason to stop me when driving?

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
I strongly advise to obtain a lawyer to assist you with this matter. If you need specific legal advice, you should consult privately with an attorney. This answer does not contain specific legal advice. Whether the police performed a valid traffic stop is an issue that would need to be addressed through a suppression motion filed by the defense to prohibit the introduction of certain types of evidence by a prosecutor in a potential trial. This is a matter of trial strategy and this type of motion should only be contemplated if there is a good-faith basis under the law. These are potentially very complicated motions that need to be presented in just the right way. There is a lot of case-law regarding these issues and these motions are closely examined by the judge on a case-by-case basis. These motions often require a hearing and the investigating police officer is usually required to testify. Simply because there were possible questions about the initial traffic stop won't necessarily prohibit the prosecutor from initially issuing the charges. However, if evidence is successfully suppressed, that will make it extremely difficult for the prosecutor to proceed with an DUI charge. I would strongly recommend that you consult privately with an attorney if you need specific legal advice for your particular circumstances. Most attorneys provide free initial consultations. Effective legal advocacy may make a significant impact on the outcome of your particular case
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/11/2011
Dunnings Law Firm
Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
If he says he saw you stumbling out of the bar, it sounds to me as if he had a reason to stop you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/4/2013
Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
Yes, the officer would need probable cause in order to make a traffic stop. From what you've said, if the officer did observe you leave a bar and then stubble when exiting your car, this may be enough to allow him to stop you and further investigate. Probable cause does not have to arise from you committing a traffic violation.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/8/2011
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
If he has reason to believe that you are intoxicated then yes he can stop you. Leaving and bar and stumbling do not help. An attorney would have a hearing to challenge the stop.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/8/2011
Nichols Law Firm
Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
A valid stop is necessary before an arrest for any crime, including DUI, can be made. Call a qualified DUI attorney immediately.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/8/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    He will need to cite some sort of violation or behavior that he witnessed that amounted to reasonable suspicion in order to initiate the stop. Have an experienced DUI attorney review the police report for any errors that could get the charges reduced or dismissed. A good DUI attorney will more than pay for himself.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/8/2011
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