Although there are sometimes exceptions, such as DUI checkpoints, most DUI arrests start with one thing: suspicion. An officer can’t pull you over without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. If he or she has that, the officer can then pull you over and administer tests, like a breath test or a roadside test, but that can’t happen without suspicion.

This is why officers often look for things that indicate someone may be driving under the influence in Minnesota. For example, a person who is straddling the road’s center line could be impaired, as could a person who does not come to a complete stop at a stop sign. Officers also look for people who drive too fast or too slow, who swerve from one lane to the next, who forget to use traffic signals, who make illegal turns, and much more.

It’s also wise to note that officers can pull someone over for something that does not indicate drunk driving, as long as it’s an infraction, and then form suspicion afterr that point. For example, it’s illegal to drive at night with broken headlights. An officer could pull you over for having a light out and then smell alcohol or otherwise come to the conclusion that you may have been drinking. From there, he or she can check your BAC and have you do tests, even though nothing about your actual ability to drive suggested you were drunk.

It’s important to know how this works because it is not legal for officers to just pull you over without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, so knowing why the stop was initially made can factor into your DUI defense in Minneapolis.

Source: FIndLaw, “What is Reasonable Suspicion for a DUI Stop?,” accessed Feb. 18, 2016

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