Traffic stops tend to be stressful experiences, especially for drivers who are not sure why they were pulled over. Unfortunately, even when there is not a clear reason, these stops can lead to serious criminal charges. It is not unheard of for unjustified traffic stops to result in drunk driving charges.
Are traffic stops always reasonable?
Missouri police officers cannot pull over drivers just because they feel like it. Instead, they must have reasonable suspicion of a traffic infraction or crime. Examples of actions that constitute reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop include:
- Making an illegal turn
- Drifting in and out of lanes
- Straddling lines of traffic
- Speeding or driving very slowly
- Frequent braking
- Almost hitting other vehicles or objects
- Erratic driving
Unfortunately, there are times when police officers pull over drivers without having reasonable suspicion. These situations even result in criminal charges sometimes. However, this does not mean that someone who was charged with a DUI during an unjustified traffic stop has to simply accept what is happening. In some situations, it is possible to dismiss charges when the arresting officer did not have any reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop.
There is a lot on the line when it comes to drunk driving charges, such as jail time and fines. Leaving things like this up to chance is never a good idea. Missouri defendants who are in this situation may want to thoroughly explore their options for handling their charges, including questioning the legitimacy of any traffic stops and building a strong foundation for their defense.