When Can Police Stop Me For Suspicion of Drunk Driving?

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When Can You Be Stopped For Suspicion of Drunk Driving?

Police encounters with a drunk driving suspect in the Columbus, Ohio area typically involves two stages prior to arrest.  First, there is a traffic stop, and second an investigative detention following the stop.

With respect to the traffic stop, if the police officer observed you commit a traffic violation, then he may stop you for that violation, even if it is a pretext to investigate a drunk driving charge.

Although the initial stop may be valid, a further detention may not be constitutionally justified.   In general, the duration of the initial stop is limited to the time necessary to effectuate the purpose of the initial traffic stop.  This may include the time necessary to run a computer check on your license, registration and plates.

The Limits Of The Traffic Stop

The stop may not continue longer beyond the cause of the initial stop.  That is, unless additional facts are encountered that give rise to reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity beyond the reason for the initial stop.

It is critical for you to have an experienced defense attorney who can challenge the basis for the initial stop, the duration and scope of the detention following the stop, and whether there was probable cause for the arrest.

Without probable cause for the arrest, then any subsequent alcohol test results are inadmissible.

Our experienced attorneys at James D. Owen, LLC, can help when you are facing criminal charges involving drugs and alcohol. Contact us today. We will offer you a free initial consultation about your legal rights and possible defenses.