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Miami police must have a reason to pull you over on suspicion of DUI

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2021 | DUI

There’s an important legal concept that stops police and sheriff’s deputies in Miami-Dade County from randomly pulling over drivers. If an officer pulls you over without first having a reasonable, articulable suspicion that you were drinking while impaired by drugs or alcohol, that officer has violated your civil rights.

Things that can get you pulled over legally

A reasonable suspicion of DUI to justify a traffic stop does not have to be a huge amount of evidence, but it must be more than a mere “hunch.” Examples of things an officer might observe a driver doing that would justify pulling them over include:

  • Drifting between lanes
  • Crossing or straddling the centerline
  • Making an illegal U-turn
  • Suddenly stopping in the middle of the road for no reason
  • Nearly hitting a parked car or other object on the side of the road

These are examples of things that an impaired driver might be more likely to do than a sober one. If the officer can state they witnessed a motorist doing something like the maneuvers in the above list, they can claim that they followed the law when they pulled over that person’s vehicle.

Not enough for a DUI arrest

But reasonable suspicion by itself is not enough to justify an arrest on DUI charges. It just means there is reason to believe the driver might be committing a crime. To actually arrest you, the officer must have enough evidence to reach probable cause. This can include the results of a breath test or field sobriety test.

Among other things, the reasonable suspicion rule is meant to stop police from conducting random traffic stops or committing racial profiling. If you believe the officer who arrested you pulled you over without cause, you might be able to get the charges dismissed.