What do police officers look for when pulling someone over for drunk driving? 61 Answers as of August 08, 2011

A police officer pulled me over under suspicion of drunk driving. He did not violate any traffic laws and he gave me no other reasons for pulling me over. Is it legal for him to do this?

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Lowenstein Law Office
Lowenstein Law Office | Anthony Lowenstein
It depends on several factors.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/4/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
There has to be some lawful reason for pulling you over. Once he does he can investigate you for DUI if you present the symptoms even if he didn't suspect it to begin with.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/2/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
An officer must have a reasonable suspicion of particularized criminal conduct to make a seizure of a person driving an automobile. The offense may be as minor as speeding or having an equipment failure such as a brake light out. It may also be supported by evidence of intoxicated driving such as weaving, driving too slow or other evidence. Whether the officer's observations support a stop would require a review of the facts of the case and evidence.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/1/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
The officer has to have probable cause to pull a person over and that will be stated in the police report. the pc could be that you were weaving with in your lane or something like that.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/31/2011
Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
NO! They must have "specific and articulate facts" to believe you were committing a crime, or about to commit one. There is no such thing as a "routine" stop. You should report the cop for violating your civil rights (to his police chief). If you were arrested or given a ticket for some reason, you need to file a motion to suppress and immediately hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Maine
Replied: 7/30/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    With the facts you have given, no. An officer must have at least a reasonable suspicion that you have violated a law. This prevents, amongst other things, officers from making discriminatory traffic stops. If the officer in your case cannot provide a reason for making a traffic stop, your case could be dismissed. Everything resulting from the illegal stop - including the officer noticing signs and symptoms of intoxication, will be thrown out of the case by way of a suppression motion.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Officers will evaluate a multitude of possible reasons why they think a driver is DUI. An officer can stop a car for any reasonable reason and then discover an impaired driver. The specific facts surrounding your case is what is important.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    The police can pull you over for any legitimate reason, but not for no reason at all. It could be a defective piece of equipment, such as a tail light out or a brake light out. It could be for an expired inspection sticker. It could be for weaving over the marked lanes. Your citation should say something on it as to why you were stopped. If not, you may be able to use this to get the charge dismissed. You really should consult with an attorney. If you were charged with anything whatsoever, you should definitely let an attorney look at your case and see what, if anything, can be done. If you would like to discuss this with me there is not fee for the telephone consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    This response is general information only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. However, you may have been driving erratically, slow then faster, weaving in and out of lane etc.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    A police officer needs probable cause to pull you over. This can be a fairly tricky aspect of law, however, because it can be difficult to prove either way that probable cause did or did not exist. Since you have not been issued any sort of traffic violation then you should probably not be overly concerned about this. If you had been arrested or issued a traffic violation, then the lack of probable cause could likely have played a role in your defense.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    What do police officers look for when pulling someone over for drunk driving? Traffic violation, swerving, erratic driving. A police officer pulled me over under suspicion of drunk driving. He did not violate any traffic laws and he gave me no other reasons for pulling me over. That is your side of the story, I bet his paperwork will say something completely different. Is it legal for him to do this? A cop needs a traffic infraction or reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot to make a legal stop. The bottom line is that you have been charged with DWI and need counsel. We can represent you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    He needs a reason to pull you over, but this can be anything from an equipment violation to weaving within in a lane.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    The short answer is possibly. If you were weaving within your lane, crossing the center line or fog line or otherwise driving in an unusual manner, excessively fast or slow, he could pull you over for investigation. Otherwise, they typically look for a moving violation and use that as a reason to pull someone over.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Smith & John
    Smith & John | Kenneth Craig Smith, Jr.
    Yes, probable cause of a traffic violation or of some crime as to that person is required. Law enforcement officers have no right to stop someone for no reason to see what could be found.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
    A police officer can execute a traffic stop if he or she believe the driver has demonstrated evidence of DUI, i.e., sudden starts and stops, weaving, etc. If you decide on a jury trial 12 of your fellow citizens will decide which person is telling the truth.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    I guarantee you that he would have a legitimate reason for pulling you over if you read a police report of the stop. What I mean by that is that it is very easy for officers to come up with any number of reasons for a stop by the time they write their reports. They are not obligated to tell you why they stopped you, they just need to have a reason they can point to if the case is charged. It seems unfair, but this is the reality.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The police need a reason or suspicion that a crime or traffic violation as been committed in order to stop a vehicle. They look for glassy, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, the odor of alcohol, nervousness, unsteady gait, fumbling through the glove box for papers, roached in the ash tray, sloppy clothes, dirty cars, vehicle equipment violations, suspended license, no inspection, suspended registration, unpaid tickets, and young men, black, men, Hispanic men, hippies, bikers, and people with lots of tattoos and piercings. Their experience tells them these are the people who are more likely to have drugs, contraband, weapons, prior records, scofflaws warrants, and who are committing or about to commit crimes. Never drink and drive, have open containers, or drugs in a car. Never smoke pot in a car, snort coke in a parked car, or get into a car where there are drugs or weapons, the police have the right to arrest everyone in the car.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Law Offices of Christopher Jackson
    Law Offices of Christopher Jackson | Christopher L. Jackson
    No The police can not just pull you over, they must give a reason, ie swerving etc Christopher L. Jackson, Esq. Attorney at Law Cincinnati (513) 861-8000 Northern KY (859)
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Of course it is. The cop doesn't need to give you a reason, so long as he includes it in his report. Expect it be some invented BS, like swerving, lane straddling, signaling...etc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    The look at the way you are driving. The can also pull you over to confirm whether or not your card is registered.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    July 28, 2011 Police officers can and do look for any reason to pull someone over if they have any suspicion that they may be drinking or for any other reason. this list includes, but is not limited to, tail light burned out, headlight burned out, tag light burned out, non use of seat belt, failure to dim lights, cracked windshield, failure to use turn signal when changing lanes, failure to stop at a stop sign, failure to yield right of way, crossing the median line, crossing the fog line, speeding, careless/reckless driving, swerving on roadway, music too loud, driving in a known drug area, driving too slow, acting or appearing nervous when seeing the police, not having lights on when windshield wipers are being used, the list goes on and on. Once stopped for a ROUTINE traffic stop, if you admit that you have had anything to drink, regardless of quantity, you will likely be subjected to the field sobriety test (FST), which include, but are not limited, to horizontal gaze nastagmus, one-legged stand, ten step turn and walk, reciting abc's, finger manipulation test, etc., So, to answer your question it does not take much to pull someone over if you are the police.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law | Michael Maltby
    Beyond the obvious like a traffic violation or equipment violation to have a reason to stop you, the police look for a driving pattern that may mean you are impaired like driving over lane dividers or fog lines, driving too fast or too slow, weaving within the lane for a prolonged time or repeatedly. The list goes on. But they have to have at least a reasonable opinion (based on observed facts) that you are under the influence (of drugs and/or alcohol) or in some way violating the law before they can stop you for further investigation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    There are a list of 20 driving factors that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says are indicate of being under the influence. These are the things that officers look for. Examples include: weaving, driving without headlights, braking. Curiously, speeding is not one of the indicators of being under the influence according to the NHTSA.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    The national highway traffic safety administration NHTSA publishes a guide for night time detection of impaired drivers that list 24 cues. However, NH law requires an articulable suspicion of a motor vehicle or criminal violation in order to make a stop. What that means is there has to be a reason not based on mere hunch or suspicion. IF the office pulled you over without observing a MV violation or criminal offense then you may be able to prevail on a suppression issue. You need to hire a good lawyer who handles DWI charges and is familiar with the local court and judge. I would suggest that you ask around and find out what lawyer has the best reputation in the area where the arrest occurred. Also do not discuss the case with anyone in detail. Good luck
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    There are a number of things they look for blood shot watery eyes, slurred speech, fumbling for papers, poor balance, odor of intoxicating beverages, automobile weaving, poor field sobriety tests. The officers, in Washington state, have to have a valid reason to effectuate a traffic stop such as defective equipment on the car or the registered owner of the car has a suspended license.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin | Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    A violation of even a minor traffic law can get you pulled over for DUI. If you are leaving a bar at 2AM, it is not legal to pull you over simply because you are leaving the parking lot. However, there are a lot of laws that are generally disregarded by most people"California" stops, not stopping the appropriate amount of feet before the limit line and coming to a complete halt, or failing to activate a turn signal lead the list. If you are driving too slow for safety, you can get pulled over. Of course, weaving back and forth within a lane is not in the vehicle code but may be probable cause to believe you are driving drunk.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    The Law Office of James McKain
    The Law Office of James McKain | James McKain
    Maybe. Before a police officer can stop a driver for suspicion of DUI he must have a good reason to do so. Basically, he must observe something that would lead a reasonable police officer in the same circumstances to believe that you are violating the law . The best way for an officer to establish that he had a good reason to stop you is to observe a traffic infraction, however it is possible for lesser behaviors to satisfy the reasonable suspicion test. You should contact an experienced DUI attorney to help you determine if this stop was legal. If it was not, none of the evidence obtained after the stop can be used against you. Thank you
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    No, it was not legal to pull you over.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law | Eric James Schurman
    An officer must have probable cause that you committed a crime/infraction to pull you over. I suspect the police report will allege you committed an infraction. It's important to hire an attorney for such a charge. The penalties are quite severe even on a first time DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    The officer must have probable cause to believe you committed some traffic violation or reasonable suspicion to pull you over. Normally they pull people over for a tail light being out, making a wide turn, speeding (even a mile or two over the limit), etc. If you get his report, it likely will mention a reason for pulling you over. You should consult a lawyer who routinely handles DUI cases and see if the lawyer thinks there are things in the report that make it so you might win the case.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Sean Patrick Walsh
    Law Office of Sean Patrick Walsh | Sean Patrick Walsh
    Police must have reasonable suspicion that you violated the law before they pull you over.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    The question of whether or not an officer had a sufficient reason to conduct a traffic stop is a question which should always be examined. If there is a chance to fight your case on this basis, your attorney should address it. The officer must be able to articulate a specific reason why he thought a violation of law was occurring. In order to not let this possible avenue of attack be lost, you should hire an attorney ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Swerving, crossing the center line, erratic driving, crossing the fog line etc. If hie had no reason to stop you then maybe the matter can be dismissed. It depends on the facts. Get an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Donahue, Sowa & Magana Attorneys at Law
    Donahue, Sowa & Magana Attorneys at Law | Glenn M. Sowa
    Were you arrested for DUI? If so, where? I would need more details to properly answer the question.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    He is looking for erratic driving, evidence of intoxication, or other explanation of your behavior and his suspicion. Legal to pull you over? Of course. Any time, anywhere, he suspects a violation. If you werent arrested or cited, be thankful. If you were, then hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    While he did not tell you the basis of the stop, there will be some basis included in the offense report even if it is as minor or small as safety concern (because of weaving within the lane which is not a violation which can result in a ticket.) When officers stop someone, they are not supposed to have a preconceived notion that the person is intoxicated. It is not supposed to be until the officer smells alcohol or notices actions such a slurred speech or movement or bloodshot eyes, etc. when the officer begins to form a suspicion of intoxication which permits further investigation.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Robert L Keates, PLLC
    Law Office of Robert L Keates, PLLC | Robert Keates
    Officer's mainly look for bad driving when deciding to pull a car over for DWI/DUI. In order for law enforcemet to pull over a vehicle, the officer must have a reasonable suspicion there is criminal activity afoot. In DWI context this generally means a traffic violation has occured, meaning the officer has observed the driver breaking one of the traffic laws. Typically an officer will observe speeding, swerving, crossing road lines, or driving on the shoulder when pulling over a car for suspected DWI. The police report written by the officer will set fourth any resonable suspicions as well as probable cause if the driver is arrested on DWI.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    The police must have "an articulable reason", sometimes called reasonable suspicion, before they can stop a motor vehicle. Stopping a motor vehicle is considered a "seizure" under the United States and New York Constitutions and citizens are protected from being seized unreasonably. It can't be a whim, a naked hunch or a gut feeling. There must be an objective reason. Any Vehicle and Traffic Law violation will do. Erratic driving will suffice. The analysis of whether or not a specific stop is legal or illegal is very fact specific and each case lives or dies on its own merits.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Collins Law Firm, P.A.
    Collins Law Firm, P.A. | John C. Collins
    Maybe and maybe not. It's a complicated question. Police may pull you over pursuant to rule 3.1 if they reasonable suspect you are committing a felony or misdemeanor involving injury to person or property. That being said, it depends on what the officer observed. The national highway traffic safety administration has developed a set of clues for officers to look for. They are too voluminous to list here, but most officers do a poor job articulating what they saw. You may have a good defense but I would need more information to give it a proper analysis. It would certainly benefit you to contact a dwi attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo | Matthew Murillo
    No, he must have a reasonable suspicion to stop you. Pulling you over on a "hunch" is unlawful and you may be able to have any evidence obtained against you as a result, suppressed. You should speak to an attorney to discuss the details of the arrest.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    Police need "reasonable suspicion" of illegal activity to pull someone over. When conducting a DUI investigation, they look for bloodshot eyes, slow or slurred speech, and the odor of alcohol. If they find some of those clues, then they perform a "nystagmus" or wobble test on eyes, roadside maneuvers and ultimately a blood or breath alcohol test.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    The police are looking for anything to justify a DUI arrest. From the moment someone is stopped and investigated for a DUI, the police immediately begin looking for reasons to support the DUI arrest. The things police look for include, but are not limited to, manner of driving, manner of speech (slurred, etc.), bloodshot and watery eyes, odor of alcohol on breath and/or in car, demeanor, ability to listen, ability to follow instructions, manner of cooperation, performance on field sobriety tests, reading on Preliminary Alcohol Screening Test (PAS test which is a hand-held breath test administered at the scene prior to the actual arrest), ability to stand/walk, drinking pattern. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Offices of James A Bates
    Law Offices of James A Bates | James A Bates
    Police have to have a valid reason for pulling someone over. Weaving, speeding, no lights at night, even driving too slowly. They can even pull you over for registration or equipment violations and it grows into a dui investigation when they smell alcohol on your breath or person. They have to state in the police report why they pulled you over. If they had no valid reason, the evidence gets thrown out.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    You cannot be pulled over for drunk driving. There must be an underlying offense such as speeding, weaving, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    When an officer stops and or detains a driver, he or she is conducting a "Terry" stop. The Terry stop is named for the U.S. Supreme Court case of Terry v. Ohio. What that case says is an officer can stop and briefly detain anyone who the officer has "Reasonable Suspicion" of breaking the law or committing a crime. Reasonable Suspicion is defined as "A suspicion based on the facts in front of the officer and the meaning of those facts in light of the officer's training and experience." In the DUI context, most officers are trained and experienced in detecting impaired drivers. Cases in Washington have limited some of the circumstances on which an officer can rely. For example, an officer may witness a vehicle weaving back and forth in a lane. That alone is not enough to justify a Terry stop. The other concept in play is that Reasonable Suspicion can be developed over time. Weaving within a lane may not by itself justify a stop but weaving within a lane and driving over a stop line at an intersection, combined with the weaving may be enough. The other reason an officer can stop a person is infractions. Those include failure to signal, following too closely, running red lights and many more. A subset of infractions are title 46 equipment violations which may also justify a stop. The classic example is the broken license plate light. Another example would be a wire hanging down from your undercarriage. Basically anything that makes your vehicle unsafe or illegal to drive on the road suffices. So in looking for why you were pulled over, you have to look at a totality of the facts before the officer. Those facts may not be apparent to you from inside your car. However, it is possible that the officer used a pretext for his or her stop. That is illegal in Washington. A pretext is when an officer gives a bogus reason for stopping you when he or she suspects you of something and uses a minor infraction for an excuse to stop you. If an officer says something like, "Have you been drinking?" and only later says, "I stopped you because I thought you rolled through that stop sign." He or she may be using a pretext to stop you. That is not an invitation for you to argue with the officer or resist arrest. Rather, it is something for your lawyer to raise with the court. There is no remedy available for an officer not saying why he or she stopped you either. The officer must justify it to the court somewhere in the police report but for your safety and the officers, the police are not required to tell you immediately why you were stopped. If there were, it would just lead to arguments at the roadside between the cop and the driver and those arguments have a tendency to spin out of control fast with some people.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    They generally need to observe infraction or erratic driving. I can help you fight this if you want to come in to discuss.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Thank you for your inquiry In short, the officer needs to have probable cause to stop. This has to be articulated more than "I suspected" Your case should be reviewed by an attorney to determine whether a Motion to Dismiss should be made on lack of probable cause to stop, and thus suppression of evidence thereafter. You can contact my office for an appointment. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    You can be pulled over of any violation of a traffic law. If they had no reason to pull you over then the case should be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Braunstein Law, PC
    Braunstein Law, PC | Jacob Braunstein
    Police officers look at a variety of indicators when determining whether to pull someone over for driving while intoxicated. Crossing over a line, failing to stay within a lane, forgetting to use a turn signal- all of these are potential reasons an officer could stop a vehicle. Absent a traffic violation, an officer needs reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed to initiate a stop.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    A good attorney may be able to get that case dismissed. I would enjoy reviewing the police reports. In response to your DUI Questions: I am a criminal defense attorney that focuses on DUI cases. If you would like to discuss your case, please contact me. Some important information- If you have been served with a Notice of Revocation, then you have 7 days to request a hearing. Please do that immediately by going to your local DMV office, tell them you got a DUI and you want to request a hearing. They will give you a form. DO NOT REQUEST THE OFFICER. We can do that later if we choose to, but most often it means you will lose. The receipt DMV gives you allows you to drive until the day of the hearing. I would be pleased to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    The do need a legal reason to pull you over. Any traffic violation that the officer witnessed would be a legal reason. Get a copy of your police report. I would be willing to bet that the officer wrote in the report that you weaved or had a tag light out or some minor traffic violation, which would justify his stop.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    There must have been probable cause, reasonable suspicion, or a checkpoint to pull you over. The police report should indicate what the basis of the stop was.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Rodney Nosratabadi
    Law Office of Rodney Nosratabadi | Rodney Nosratabadi
    Usually bad driving (ie: speeding, wide turns, sudden lane changes, lane straddling, swerving and etc.).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi | Elliott Zarabi
    He must have probable cause to pull over unless there is a checkpoint, you may be able to suppress all evidence if what you are saying is correct! Regards,
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Nichols Law Firm
    Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
    Good question: the officers are trained to use their senses: smell, hearing, sight - to detect the signs of someone who has been consuming alcohol. The smell of alcohol is enough to ask a person to step from the vehicle to perform sobriety tasks under a case called People v Rizzo.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    They have to have a reason to pull you over, whether it's weaving, going left-to-center, or going over the speed limit even it's just one mph. Just because he didn't give you a reason doesn't mean that he didn't have one. It just might mean that he didn't tell you. If you were charged with DUI, he's eventually going to have to give a reason whether it's in the report or at a hearing in court. If he "suspected" you of drunk driving, he's going to have to give a legally justifiable reason for his belief. It could be as much as seeing you stagger out of the bar into your car. If you weren't charged with anything, then I wouldn't worry about it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    The police must have a reason to pull you over. The most common reasons are a traffic violation or erratic driving.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    The Law Firm of David Jolly
    The Law Firm of David Jolly | David Jolly
    Officers are looking for driving or behavior that either violates the law (or traffic code) or is "suspicious." If you did not violate any traffic codes or otherwise violate the law an officer can stop you if he observes your driving to be suspicious of criminal activity (ie. DUI driver). Specifically, the Supreme Court in the seminal case Terry v. Ohio, 392 US 1 (1968) stated that a Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures is not violated when a police officer stops a suspect and has a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime. The following is a list of the symptoms and their related indicant of intoxication. The corresponding number is the percentage that the driver has a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.10 percent or higher. (note: any studies supporting these findings are clearly not scientific and as such, not accepted by the scientific community). Turning with Wide Radius, Straddling Center or Lane Marker, Appearing to be Drunk, Almost Striking Object or Vehicle, Weaving, Driving on Other Than Designated Roadway, Swerving, Slow Speed (more than 10 mph below limit), Stopping (without cause) in Traffic Lane, Drifting, Following too closely, Tires on Center or Lane Marker, Braking Erratically, Driving Into Opposing or Crossing Traffic, Signaling Inconsistent with Driving Actions, Stopping Inappropriately (other than in lane), Turning Abruptly or Illegally, Accelerating or Decelerating Rapidly and Headlights Off.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/29/2011
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