When is a traffic stop valid?


A California officer believes that you are driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol might initiate a traffic stop. From there, you may be asked to submit to chemical or types of tests, and based on the results of those tests, you may be taken into custody. However, evidence collected during an improper traffic stop may be inadmissible, which may mean that any charges against you will be dropped.

Authorities can pull you over for multiple reasons

A traffic stop would likely be considered valid if your car failed to maintain its lane. The same would likely be true if you were hitting the brakes in an erratic fashion or were traveling at an inconsistent speed. If you stop in the middle of the road or fail to go through a traffic light after it turns green, you could be stopped on suspicion of DUI.

You could be charged with DUI regardless of why you’re pulled over

If you have bloodshot eyes, are slurring your words or show other signs of impairment, you could be charged with DUI even if a traffic stop was related to something else. A broken taillight, an expired license or running through a stop sign are common reasons why a vehicle may be stopped by authorities.

If you are convicted of DUI, you may face jail time, a fine and a loss of driving privileges. You may also have to install an ignition interlock device in your car. However, it may be possible to avoid a conviction by asserting that the traffic stop that led to an impaired driving charge was not based on a reasonable suspicion. You may also cast doubt on witness testimony or other evidence introduced at trial.

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