Both state and federal law are clear that a cop is allowed to stop you if:
- He or she has a reasonable and legitimate belief that you somehow violated the law.
- You have broken a traffic law, such as rolling through a stop sign or speeding.
- He or she has reason to suspect that you are driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs.
During any kind of traffic stop, police and state troopers must respect your constitutional rights, but they also have rights; specifically, they have the right to complete whatever steps are necessary to determine if you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.Specific Actions a Cop can Take
Though there are restrictions on what the police can and cannot do, they are allowed to stop you if they have reason to suspect you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs while driving. The following is a list of actions they can take as they investigate those suspicions:
- Search your car, but only in certain cases
- Request blood alcohol testing to determine blood alcohol concentration
- Ask you questions about your driving behaviors, as well as your drug or alcohol intake
- Give you field sobriety tests
- Arrest you for any violations of the law
Cops must follow certain steps, called protocols, when investigating you and gathering evidence against you. There are also laws that restrict them. One way an experienced Pittsburgh DUI attorney can help you is by making sure the police have followed the correct protocols and obeyed the law.Chemical Blood Alcohol Concentration Testing and Field Sobriety Testing
Police officers and state troopers are allowed to give you certain tests to determine whether you are driving impaired or not, but they must take care to do them correctly and follow the proper procedures. They are trained to follow standards laid out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, sometimes they make mistakes, and the wrong conclusions are drawn, or incorrect actions are taken. When this happens, evidence obtained by these tests can be thrown out of court if you are charged with DUI. It’s vital that your DUI attorney determine if the cops involved in your arrest acted properly and within the standards, laws, and regulations and that any devices used, such as a breathalyzer, were maintained and calibrated properly.
You are allowed to refuse the tests; however, when you signed on the dotted line to accept your driver’s license, you agreed to submit to them when requested. Because of this, if you refuse to allow a blood, breath, or urine sample to be taken, your driver’s license is automatically suspended. The arresting officer will notify PennDOT that you refused, and PennDOT will send you a letter to notify you of your suspension and tell you to report to the specified police station to surrender your license.
If you are stopped for driving under the influence, pay attention to your surroundings and to what is said and done by yourself and the officers. Make sure you tell your lawyer everything, no matter how insignificant it seems. The most minute detail can sometimes make a big difference in the outcome of a case.
Have you been stopped while driving and arrested for DUI? Do you suspect the police officer who arrested you did not follow proper procedures? If so, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney, one who has handled many DUI cases. The Logue Criminal Defense team has defended hundreds of people arrested for DUI. Logue Law Group serves Pittsburgh, PA, West Virginia, and Ohio. Call today for a free consultation. (412) 612-2210 or (412) 612-2210. We may also be contacted online. Don’t wait! A DUI conviction has serious and life-changing consequences attached to it. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes for an attorney to get you a good outcome. Call now!