Nothing can change the course of an evening like seeing blue flashing lights in your rearview mirror. One minute you are driving home, and the next you may be standing outside your vehicle walking in a straight line. A suspected DUI traffic stop is more than just an inconvenience. It can result in criminal charges that may change the course of your life.
When considering how to defend yourself against drunk driving charges, it may be important to take a close look at the traffic stop. If you experienced a violation of your rights, it could be grounds to challenge the entire case against you. There are only certain reasons why Ohio law enforcement can stop and question a driver. Without valid reasonable suspicion, any evidence from this interaction may not be admissible.
What is reasonable suspicion?
Reasonable suspicion is when law enforcement observes certain types of behavior that give cause to think criminal activity is taking place. In drunk driving traffic stops, a police officer can only stop a driver if there is reason to suspect he or she may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The following behaviors may establish reasonable suspicion:
- Swerving or difficulty maintaining the lane
- Stopping and starting randomly
- Stopping in the middle of the road
- Running a red light or failure to yield
- Hitting a stationary object
- Driving erratically
- Drifting from one lane to another
- Driving very fast or extremely slowly
Any of these behaviors could be a valid reason to initiate a DUI traffic stop. After stopping a driver, the officer may talk to him or her and determine if it is appropriate to administer field sobriety tests. Eventually, the officer may administer a Breathalyzer test or arrest the driver. The initial traffic stop is the first step in a DUI case, and it’s critical to carefully examine every aspect of your interaction with law enforcement.
Challenging the case, fighting for your future
Many do not realize it’s possible to effectively fight back against DUI or OVI charges. With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can challenge the case against you and fight for the preservation of your future interests. It is beneficial to seek this help and support as soon as possible after a drunk driving arrest.