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Dismissing a DUI charge if the traffic stop was improper

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2022 | DUI |

A police officer in Georgia stopped you. As far as you knew, you had not violated any traffic laws. When the officer told you why they were stopping you, you were stunned. 

They stopped you on suspicion of drunk driving.

Officers must have reasonable suspicion to stop you

A police officer is required to have a reasonable suspicion that you are intoxicated if they want to pull you over to check for alcohol impairment. They cannot just stop anyone to see if they were drunk driving. Unless that is, they have set up a checkpoint that meets the legal requirements.

If they don’t have proof, such as swerving, driving erratically, driving too slow or too fast, they don’t have reasonable suspicion to stop you. At least not for drunk driving.

What if the officer pulls you over for something else, such as a faulty brake light?

Can they still get you to perform a field sobriety test or Breathalyzer test? The officer can only ask you to perform a test after stopping you for something non-drink-related if they gain reasonable suspicion that you are drunk. For instance, while telling you about your brake light, they notice an empty bottle of whiskey on the back seat or alcohol on your breath.

If you believe your DUI stop or test was improper, you may be able to fight it

Learning what makes a traffic stop improper may help you get a DUI dismissed. Even if the police can show reasonable suspicion for the stop and the test, many other defense options are available.