Is Swerving Probable Cause for a DUI Stop?
The Fourth Amendment protects us from unreasonable search and seizure by the government. This right covers police pullovers. This means an officer needs a legal reason, called probable cause, to pull you over. To pull someone over for a DUI, an officer must have a reasonable suspicion that you have been driving under the influence. Swerving is often believed by police to be a good indicator the driver has been drinking, and thus, could serve as probable cause to pull them over. Other similar behaviors, such as weaving, lane straddling, or drifting can also indicate a driver is under the influence. Anything illegal, from failing to signal to speeding, can be probable cause to pull someone over. It doesn't matter if the officer believes you have been drinking or not; you can be pulled over for a routine traffic violation and still end up with a DUI if the officer then finds probable cause to question, detain, and arrest you. All that matters is that the officer had a reasonable and articulable suspicion based off of a reliable source of information, such as observable behavior. It is important to understand your rights under the Fourth Amendment and how they apply to driving. Without having probable cause to initially pull you over, the evidence and information an officer obtains when he or she pulls you over may be suppressed. If no probable cause is noted on the police report or if the cause given is false, an attorney may be able to file a motion to have the evidence collected deemed inadmissible in your case. This can result in your charges being dropped and your case being dismissed. It is always important to remember that the probable cause needed to pull you over isn't enough to convict you of a DUI. Once an officer stops you, he or she will begin a routine investigation to include asking you questions, observing your appearance and behavior, and requesting that you complete a roadside sobriety test or take a chemical test to measure your blood alcohol content levels. The combined results of this investigation will be the evidence utilized in an attempt to convict you. Consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you think the officer did not have probable cause to pull you over and you are now facing DUI charges. An attorney can help you obtain a copy of the entire police report, which should include the cause for the stop. Your rights under the Fourth Amendment are important and worth asserting and defending. A skilled attorney can help you defend your rights and may even save you a criminal charge. If you've been arrested for a DUI, our skilled attorneys are here to help. Thomas C. Rowsey, P.C. will work hard to protect your rights and will make sure you aren't convicted based off of incorrect facts. Based in Roswell, GA, Thomas C. Rowsey Attorneys at Law serves those across the greater Atlanta metropolitan area including Roswell, Alpharetta, Marietta, Milton, Cumming, Dunwoody, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs. Contact our office today at (770) 993-5317 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation. Offering expert legal counsel in personal injury, criminal defense and family law, Thomas Rowsey, Attorneys at Law are here to help.