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Traffic stops for drunk driving can be tricky

Drivers who know they have been drinking dread seeing the flashing lights of a police vehicle. These traffic stops often lead to the driver being arrested if there is evidence that he or she is impaired according to the legal definition. As the holiday season approaches, anyone who is going to drink alcohol at parties needs to remember to find a way home that doesn't involve them driving because a drunk driving charge is almost certainly going to ruin the holiday season.

When police officers pull people over for the suspicion of drunk driving, they usually aren't just targeting random vehicles unless they are participating in a sobriety checkpoint. Typically, police officers will pull over a vehicle if there is reasonable suspicion to believe that the driver has been drinking.

Erratic driving, such as swerving, failing to yield or driving too slow, can lead to a traffic stop. Once the traffic stop is initiated, the police officer might request that you take a test to determine your blood alcohol concentration or ask you to take a field sobriety test. In some cases, these will both occur.

If you are deemed to be intoxicated, which usually mean you have a BAC of above the legal limit, you will likely be arrested. At this point, you need to start planning your DUI defense. This defense can include many components, including calling the reason for the traffic stop into question or trying to prove that the BAC testing was incorrect. Knowing what defense strategies you might utilize is one step toward planning and executing your personalized defense.

Source: FindLaw, "DUI Traffic Stop FAQs," accessed Nov. 17, 2016

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Ronald E. Smith, P.C.

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