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Police need a reason to pull you over for a DWI stop

A police officer has to have a solid reason to pull you over for a suspected DWI stop. That reason cannot be the fact that it was two o'clock in the morning and the officer thought you may be driving home from the bar.

Pulling cars over at random to perform chemical breath tests, even if doing so would catch some drunk drivers, is illegal.

What types of things do police look for? You will find that many minor traffic mistakes are enough to trigger a stop. For instance, perhaps you:

  • Made an illegal turn. You missed your original turnoff and pulled a u-turn to head back the other way.
  • Drifted over the center line. You even straddled that center line for a few hundred yards.
  • Almost got in an accident. You did not crash, but the officer watched as you nearly sideswiped a parked car.
  • Drove way under the speed limit. It is not illegal to go 50 MPH in a 55-MPH zone, but perhaps you were only doing 25.
  • Hit the brakes way too frequently or even stopped without reason. Maybe you saw the red light up ahead and stopped 100 yards before you got to it.

The key thing to remember is that police must have probable cause. Even before the officer decided you were under the influence, he or she needed to have a valid reason to initiate the stop.

If you were stopped for no reason, whether or not you'd been drinking, it's very important to know if your rights were violated and exactly what legal options you have.

Source: FindLaw, "What is Reasonable Suspicion for a DUI Stop?," accessed Feb. 28, 2018

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329 South Guadalupe Street
San Marcos, TX 78666

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