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How police use reasonable suspicion before an OUI stop

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2019 | Firm News |

Officers cannot ask drivers in Maine to pull over for no reason. As per the Maine Revised Statutes, it states that an officer has to have reasonable and articulable suspicion that there is a violation of the law. A cop may stop a driver if he or she has committed a criminal violation, if he or she is committing a traffic violation or if there is reason to question the driver or passengers.

When it comes to drunk driving, there are usually common-sense signs that can tell a person whether the operator of the vehicle may be under the influence. For the sake of the officer’s case, he or she has to be careful during a traffic stop. If an officer pulls a vehicle over with no reasonable suspicion but finds alcohol, then he or she is in violation of the driver’s rights and may lose the case entirely.

Both police and civilians alike can normally spot a drunk driver. MADD explains how to spot a person under the influence.

  • A vehicle may make illegal and abrupt turns
  • A vehicle may nearly strike other cars or objects
  • A vehicle may weave and drift in and out of lanes
  • A vehicle may not use driving signals or use them inconsistently
  • A vehicle may stop suddenly or brake without warning

Often, when driving under the influence, drivers will break traffic laws and hence give officers reasonable cause to make the stop. If an officer sees a vehicle straddling the center lane or driving on the opposite side of the road, there is reasonable suspicion.