How Police Justify Pulling Over Suspected DWI/DUI Drivers
Law enforcement officers are charged with keeping the public safe, which includes removing drunk drivers or drivers under the influence of drugs from the roads. Unfortunately, police can be heavy-handed in their tactics, and you may be suspected of being a DUI driver even if you haven’t had any alcohol at all or have a blood alcohol level well under the legal limit.
There are several methods by which a police officer could justify pulling you over with the ultimate goal of forcing you to take a breath or blood test to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). In Massachusetts, which is an implied consent state, you are required to take the test the officer chooses or face immediate driver’s license suspension, a fine, car impounding, and possible jail time. Once the officer informs you that he or she wants you to take the test and explains the consequences of not taking it, you can still refuse to do so and, instead, call a lawyer as soon as possible if you are arrested or taken to the police station.
So, how do the police justify pulling you over and how can you make sure you are less likely to get pulled over? The Law Office of Theresa Gomes offers some helpful information in this regard.
- Make sure your car is in good running condition. Police look for broken lights, cracked windows, significant body damage, expired registration tags, or unreadable license plates, for instance. Periodically check all of your lights and blinkers, replace cracked windshields and windows, and do what you can to keep your car looking unremarkable and safe.
- Police also pull people over for traffic violations, and because there are so many traffic laws, it’s inevitable that you will violate one of them at some point even if you are completely sober. Officers look for people running red lights or stop signs, speeding, driving erratically, changing lanes without signaling, or even driving too slowly and carefully, among other violations. If you can, use quiet back roads far from bars or taverns or large events to reduce the risk of being pulled over. If you notice a police car trailing you without its red-and-blue lights on, pull into a parking lot or side street as soon as possible and park.
- Timing is also important. Officers are far more likely to make justifications for pulling you over if it’s near bar-closing time, during holidays, or when large events are happening.
If you do get pulled over and the officer detains you for a DWI/DUI, you are not obligated to admit you have had any alcohol whatsoever or answer any questions other than your name and address. Call your attorney as soon as possible if you are arrested or have been taken to the station for questioning.