When you are driving home from dinner or perhaps driving to your next stop on a fun night out with friends, it can change the course of your entire evening to see flashing lights in your rearview mirror. You may not think you've had much to drink at all, and you may be unsure of why the police are pulling you over. Regardless, you know that you need to pull over and cooperate with law enforcement.
There are specific reasons why a police officer may initiate a suspected DUI traffic stop. If you are displaying certain types of behavior, even if you don't realize it, it could land you in trouble. It can be helpful for all Maryland drivers to know what counts as reasonable suspicion and what they can do in the event they find themselves facing DUI charges.
What could as reasonable suspicion?
Police cannot pull a person over without grounds to do so. They cannot detain or search you unreasonably, but instead, they must have reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop.
You may not agree that the reason the officer gave for pulling you over was suspicious or indicative of impaired driving, but the law does give them a certain amount of leeway to make judgment calls on this issue. In many cases, however, an office can use any of the following behaviors as a reason to pull a driver over:
- Driving while straddling the center line
- Swerving from one lane to the next
- Stopping in the road for no reason or driving very slowly
- Almost hitting stationary objects or sideswiping another vehicle
- Driving at erratic speeds and having difficulty maintaining the lane
- Making illegal turns or running through an intersection
Reasonable suspicion gives an officer a reason to make a traffic stop, but that does not necessarily mean that he or she will make an arrest. There must be probable cause to do that, which can include things like negative results of a failed sobriety test.
If you find yourself in legal trouble after a DUI traffic stop, you have the right to fight back. You will find it beneficial to seek the guidance of an attorney who can evaluate your case and help you prepare a strong and intentional defense strategy. With help, it is possible to fight the charges against you and preserve your long-term interests after a drunk driving arrest.