What does reasonable suspicion look like for a DWI stop?

While police officers are responsible for ensuring that the law is upheld, they are also subjected to regulations themselves. To perform stops, arrests, searches and further investigations, different standards of proof are required.

The standard of proof that is necessary for a legitimate DWI stop is reasonable suspicion. Officers cannot simply pull drivers over based on a whim. Outlined below are some of the key components of reasonable suspicion

What is reasonable suspicion? 

In DWI stops, a mere hunch is not enough to legitimately pull someone over and interfere with their liberty. Officers must have a valid suspicion that criminal activity has or is about to take place. 

Behaviors that could amount to reasonable suspicion 

There are certain driving behaviors that could raise the alarm for law enforcement. For instance, if a driver is exceeding the speed limit, not only is this an offense in itself, but it could raise questions as to why the road user is disregarding the law. Could their judgment have been clouded by alcohol or other substances?

Another potential sign of impaired driving is when a driver is falling to hold a straight line on the road. Often, impaired road users hug the center line in an attempt to counter the swerving brought on by intoxication. It’s very rare that this works and they usually end up crossing the center line and continuing to swerve across the road. Such conduct gives law enforcement a legitimate reason to carry out a traffic stop and possibly further investigations from there on. 

Facing DWI charges is a serious matter but it’s important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. Having legal guidance on your side will help you to come up with a suitable defense strategy.