In the vast majority of situations, the police need to have a reason to pull over a car. They cannot make a random stop. That would be a violation of the driver’s rights.
For instance, a police officer may be tempted to drive around in a local bar district after 2:00 A.M., searching for drunk drivers. But that officer still cannot randomly pull over any vehicle that they see and administer a breath test to determine if the driver is impaired.
They need to have a reason for the stop first, or it could be an illegal stop. Assuming that a driver is impaired based on the time of day or the area where they are driving is not enough to make the stop valid.
Minor reasons abound
That being said, one thing that drivers need to remember is that there are numerous minor reasons for traffic stops. It is often simple for police officers to find a minor reason to pull over a car, and then they can look for signs of impairment after they begin talking to the driver. Examples of these minor reasons include:
- Dark tint on the windows
- Obstructions on the windshield
- Minor equipment issues, such as a broken headlight
- A driver who rolls through a stop sign
- Someone who is driving slightly over the speed limit
- A driver who is swerving within their lane or changing lanes without using a turn signal
If an officer wants to pull someone over, they can often look for these minor reasons and build the case from there. As a result, many people end up facing DUI charges after getting pulled over for a very minor driving mistake. Those who do find themselves in this position need to know about all of the defense options they have at this time.