Georgia’s law enforcement agencies are constantly on the lookout for people that may be driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Every year, thousands of drivers are placed under arrest after being pulled over by an officer who suspects they are impaired. To raise these suspicions, however, the officer must observe something that leads him or her to believe you may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, such as a breath test.
Reasons for Initiating a DUI Stop
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) lists a number of driving behaviors that may indicate a driver is impaired.
- Making turns with an excessively wide radius
- Straddling lanes
- Hitting or almost hitting an object or other vehicle
- Weaving between lanes
- Following other vehicles too closely
- Slow response times
- Inconsistent signaling
- Inappropriate stopping
- Driving 10 MPH or more below the speed limit
Sometimes, an officer will simply say that the driver “appeared drunk.” However, without clear, articulable reasons to support this assessment, it may not be enough to justify a traffic stop.
As you probably noticed, the NHTSA list does not include speeding—and there is a reason for its absence. Given the cognitive abilities needed to control a vehicle while driving at a high speed, speeding is not a behavior that is typically associated with drunk driving. This means that if you are stopped for speeding, the officer must have additional cause to suspect DUI.
Likewise, the NHTSA does not recognize minor traffic violations (such as running a red light or driving with an expired tag) as valid reasons for suspecting a driver is under the influence. In some cases, you may even be able to challenge your arrest if you were stopped at a DUI roadblock and the prosecution has no evidence that proves your ability to drive was truly impaired.
If your defense attorney can show that the officer’s reason for stopping you was insufficient, then the entire case may be dismissed.
Contacting an Attorney
To determine whether your DUI stop was legally warranted, contact the attorneys of Kohn & Yager for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case At Kohn & Yager, we aggressively defend our clients against drunk driving charges and have obtained favorable results for thousands of people.
If you have been charged with DUI and feel that the initial traffic stop was unjustified, contact us to schedule a free initial consultation and find out how we can help you with your case.