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Drunk driving accidents cause over 200 deaths in Colorado alone each year. For this reason, impaired driving is a top priority for law enforcement.
While police officers are tasked with enforcing the law, they must do so within the boundaries of the law themselves. Officers cannot simply pull people over at random and conduct further investigations.
For a traffic stop to be valid, law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion that a criminal offense has occurred. The following situations could provide officers with the grounds needed to pull you over.
You may have somewhere you need to be, but this is the case for everyone. If you’re running late and going to miss a tight deadline, it can be tempting to engage in driving practices that you wouldn’t normally entertain. Nonetheless, driving aggressively is one way to stand out in front of the police. If you’re tailgating, overtaking impatiently or exceeding the speed limit, this may provide law enforcement with the reasonable suspicion required to pull you over. From there, further investigations may be carried out.
If your engine is in need of maintenance, then it might make unusual noises or even emit more fumes than usual from the exhaust. Law enforcement will notice this and wonder why you are driving a vehicle that’s in a poor condition. The same can be said if your number plates are covered or missing all together. While you may have nothing to hide, the police may assume that you do and consequently pull you over to find out what’s going on.
A traffic stop is one thing but being charged with impaired driving is another. Officers must have more than reasonable suspicion to do this. They must have probable cause, which means an admission to drinking, failed breathalyzer tests and other evidence of alcohol consumption. Facing DUI charges is serious, so make sure you seek some legal guidance to help build your defense.