With the summer recreation season quickly approaching, it’s time for all South Carolina drivers to prepare themselves for increased DUI controls on the roadways.
To be clear, it’s never acceptable for a person to drink and drive. Operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicating substance puts you, your passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians in grave danger. However, it’s important to remember that DUIs are very profitable for law enforcement. During certain times of year, patrols specifically targeting potential DUI arrests are increased for this reason.
It’s important to be aware of your rights and proper procedure during a DUI stop, as well as mistakes often made by law enforcement that can invalidate any charges.
No Reasonable Suspicion For At A Traffic Stop
Law enforcement must have a reason to pull you over. They can’t just cherry pick people out of traffic because they think there may or may not be a chance that you’re driving under the influence of something. While this means that not wearing a seat belt, having a taillight out, or rolling through a stop sign are perfectly good reasons to be pulled over, it’s important that the officer can cite this reason immediately upon stopping you. If your DUI attorney determines that there was no justification for you to have been stopped, your case could be invalidated.
Misconduct At Sobriety Checkpoint
One exception to the ‘reasonable suspicion’ rule for DUI traffic stops is the DUI checkpoint. These are situations in which police officers block passage through a roadway so that they can analyze the sobriety of each and every driver. While this is legal, it’s necessary for an officer to follow very specific protocol during a checkpoint stop. If these rules aren’t followed, it could invalidate any charges.
As you can see, no case of driving under the influence is cut and dry, regardless of how the police officer might make you feel. If you’ve recently been arrested, contact an experienced DUI attorney today. Also, stay tuned for our upcoming post that discusses more police mistakes that may invalidate a DUI charge.