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When may police in New City legally pull a driver over?

Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff to the summer season in New City. People are heading out to the beach, on camping trips, to neighborhood block parties or simply grilling out in their own backyards. It is not unusual for a person to have a drink or two on such occasions and then drive home. However, police across the state will be on the lookout this summer for those they believe are driving under the influence of alcohol.

If an individual is pulled over by the police, they may not know what their rights are or even whether such a stop is legally justifiable. In general, the police can pull over a motorist if they have the reasonable suspicion that some sort of crime is taking place. If so, they can detain the driver for a brief amount of time in order to investigate the situation. After that, if the police suspect drunk driving is in play, then the officer might order the driver to take a breath test or a field sobriety test.

What are some activities that might cause the police to believe there is the reasonable suspicion that a person is illegally driving under the influence of alcohol? One example is if a motorist is weaving between lanes or driving down the middle of the road. Another example is if a motorist made an illegal turn. In addition, if a motorist nearly misses striking another vehicle or an object on the side of the road, this may give rise to reasonable suspicion. If a motorist is driving extremely slowly, brakes a lot or stops driving in the middle of the road for no obvious reason, this may also give rise to reasonable suspicion. There are other circumstances as well that may give police reasonable suspicion to pull a driver over.

Being accused of drunk driving is a serious situation for any New City resident to find him or herself in. If an individual believes the police did not have reasonable suspicion to pull him or her over but ended up being charged with drunk driving anyways, he or she may want to speak to an attorney to determine what defenses exist in their favor.

Source: FindLaw, "What is Reasonable Suspicion for a DUI Stop?," accessed May 30, 2016

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