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It All Starts With a Single Traffic Stop

Posted on behalf of Edward J. Donahue Law, P.C. | March 7, 2022

A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) can result in numerous criminal, administrative and collateral consequences including fines, jail time, the loss of your driver’s license, and a criminal record.

Before you suffer any of those consequences, there is a civil administrative process and a criminal process to go through, ideally with the help of a proven DUI defense attorney.

Those are facets of DUI that we can cover at a later date. Today we are going to focus on where it all starts: the DUI traffic stop. A police officer pulling over a driver on suspicion of DUI is where everything begins. Knowing your rights and responsibilities during a traffic stop can make a significant difference in the eventual outcome of a DUI case.

Probable Cause

As previously mentioned, police must have probable cause to justify stopping a driver. Examples of probable cause include speeding, failing to signal, crossing the lane line, o driving erratically. Lack of probable cause can be a crucial part of DUI defense strategy. Without cause for the traffic stop, the evidence obtained through the stop may be inadmissible in court.

Dos and Don’ts

These are simple yet important:

  • Do listen closely
  • Do be polite
  • Do provide your identification and other requested documentation
  • Don’t argue with the officer
  • Don’t divulge information such as whether you have been drinking
  • Don’t attempt to drive away

After the traffic stop, there is one more “do” to remember back at the station: get in touch with a DUI defense lawyer before you say anything more to law enforcement. Your lawyer can begin taking steps right away to protect your driver’s license and shield you from the harsh consequences of a DUI conviction.

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