8 Factors That May Support Reasonable Suspicion to Justify a Traffic Stop
Traffic stops are not uncommon, and they can happen to any driver at any time, even when they haven’t done anything wrong. Reasonable suspicion is the legal standard required for a traffic stop. This means that a law enforcement officer must have some justification or probable cause to pull over a driver.
If you are facing DUI charges after a traffic stop, the first thing you need to do is hire a lawyer who will help you determine whether or not the police had reasonable suspicion to justify a traffic stop. Our Alpharetta DUI lawyers at Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers help clients protect their freedom, driving privileges, and good record.
Factors That Support Reasonable Suspicion to Justify a Traffic Stop in DUI Cases
In cases where drivers are suspected of driving under the influence (DUI), officers may use certain factors in determining whether to make a traffic stop:
1. Failing to Maintain Your Lane
One common reason for a traffic stop is when a driver fails to maintain their lane. Swerving, drifting, or weaving in and out of lanes can indicate impairment or distraction while driving. For DUI cases, this factor is especially important as it can suggest that the driver is intoxicated.
Officers are likely to pull over drivers who are speeding as this is a clear violation of the law. Speeding can also be a contributing factor to accidents. For DUI cases, speeding may indicate a driver who is operating a vehicle under the influence.
Note: According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration, the speed limit in both rural and urban interstates in Georgia is 70 miles per hour.
3. Driving Below the Speed Limit
Driving too slowly can be just as dangerous as speeding. It can impede traffic flow, cause accidents, and signal impairment. While driving below the speed limit alone may not be enough to lead to a traffic stop, it can raise suspicion and may be used to justify a stop in combination with other factors.
4. Running a Red Light or Stop Sign
Running a red light or stop sign is a clear violation of the law and is dangerous. It may be used to justify a traffic stop and can also lead to DUI charges if the driver is suspected of being intoxicated.
5. Braking Frequently
Frequent or erratic braking can be a sign of impairment, distraction, or fatigue. For DUI cases, it can indicate that the driver is intoxicated.
6. Performing Illegal Maneuvers
Illegal maneuvers such as making U-turns or illegal turns can also lead to a traffic stop. These actions suggest recklessness or aggression while driving and may indicate a driver who is under the influence.
7. Nearly Causing an Accident
Near misses or close calls with other vehicles or pedestrians can be a sign of impaired driving. Officers are likely to make a traffic stop if they observe a driver nearly causing an accident.
8. Stopping on the Road Without Reason
Stopping on the road without reason is not only dangerous, but it is also a violation of the law. It may also be an indicator of impairment or distracted driving.
Facing DUI Charges? We Can Help
If you are facing DUI charges after a traffic stop, it is important to understand the factors that may justify a stop. If you were pulled over for a traffic infraction and subsequently charged with DUI, contact Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers immediately to review your case and defend your rights. We serve various areas in Georgia, including Alpharetta, Cobb County, Dunwoody, Gwinnett County, Atlanta, Johns Creek, Sandy Springs, and Fulton County. Get a free case review by calling 770-685-6400.