As a driver, one of your basic rights is that the police cannot stop you without a reason. Every traffic stop must start with some indication that the stop is warranted. It cannot be random. This prevents police from making stops without reason just to see if they can find some criminal activity after the fact.
This is important with drunk driving because police officers may be tempted to think that certain drivers fit a profile. If they see a young driver leaving a known bar district at 2:00 a.m., for example, they may think that person was out drinking as soon as they see the car. They still cannot make a traffic stop without a reason.
What are some of the reasons they use? They include:
- Drivers who stop at green lights or in other places where there is no reason to do so
- Drivers who drive on the wrong side of the road or with one set of tires on either side
- Drivers who swerve across the road or across their lane
- Drivers who nearly get into accidents
- Drivers who make wide turns, especially when going slower than they need to
- Drivers who can’t stick to the speed limit
- Drivers who forget to flip on their lights at night
- Drivers who drift off of the road and onto the shoulder
Some of these issues could have innocent explanations. Maybe you’re sober, and you just forgot your lights because there are so many street lights around. They can still be used as reasons for a traffic stop, however, and this list is just a small example of the many reasons police officers use.
If you do get pulled over, and you get a DWI, especially if the police had no reason to stop you, make sure you know what defense options you have.