Police in Florida are always on the lookout for those driving under the influence of alcohol. Those suspected of doing so can expect to be the subjects of DUI traffic stops. What can you expect if pulled over? How can you know if what the officer did during your stop was legit?
There are several things you can expect when pulled over for suspected DUI. You can expect the officer to ask you questions, and you can expect the officer to invite you to participate in sobriety testing. If you fail the examination or refuse, you may expect an arrest and DUI charge.
There are two types of sobriety testing officers use during a DUI traffic stop: physical and chemical. Physical tests include the walk and turn, the one-leg stand and the horizontal gaze nystagmus. Chemical testing is usually in the form of a breath test. You have the right to say no to any of these tests roadside. If, however, police obtain a warrant, you must comply.
There are specific guidelines and administration protocols that officers must abide by when conducting a DUI traffic stop. Officers cannot force you to participate in any testing. Officers must administer testing in an appropriate manner if you comply. If you fail and police take you into custody, officers must read you your rights.
Was your stop legit?
A police officer cannot initiate a traffic stop just because he or she feels like it. There has to be cause — meaning he or she had reason to suspect you were operating your vehicle while under the influence. An officer can claim to have cause if he or she witnesses you:
- Failing to obey traffic signals or signs
- Driving below the posted speed limit
- Making improper lane changes
Without cause, the stop is not legit. If the officer ignores testing protocols, the stop is not legit. If the officer ignores your rights, the stop is not legit. If you can prove that any of these things occurred in your case, you may have your case dismissed.
Facing a DUI charge can be a scary thing. A conviction on such a charge can damage you personally and professionally, so it is worth fighting. Reviewing what happened during your traffic stop may be the key to fighting your case. With assistance, you can question any evidence offered against you and pursue a legal course that will help you achieve the best outcome possible.