Baltimore DUI Stops
The following is what you need to know regarding DUI stops including reasons you may be stopped, what to expect, and what mistakes you should avoid to ensure your situation doesn’t get any worse. To learn more or discuss the specifics of your case, call and schedule a consultation with a Baltimore DUI lawyer today.
Reasons For a DUI Stop
There are a variety of different reasons you may be pulled over. Officers have utilized the improper or inadequate lighting of your vehicle’s tag light, which is the actual light around the license plate on your vehicle, as a cause to stop vehicles and a varity of other reasons including if your brake light is out or dim, tag readers for registration violations or administrative flags.
Officers will also follow your vehicle as you drive. If you speed up and slow down erratically, or if you’re weaving in and out of a lane, or if you’re speeding in general, they could pull you over for a potential DUI. However, there has to be probable cause for an officer to make a stop. You have to violate the transportation protocol in some fashion or have an administrative flag on the license or vehicle.
If an officer can make visual contact with you and see that you are an individual who has been flagged by MVA or if you violate the transportation protocol, they can stop you.
Process of a DUI Stop
If stopped by law enforcement the first that will take place is the officer’s emergency lights will come on and you will be pulled over to the side of the road. Law enforcement will then approach the vehicle and ask for your license and registration. While looking at your immediate response to them, both cognitive as well as physical.
They will be looking at things such as if you can get your license out of your wallet and hand it to them, and get your registration out and hand it out to them as well. While you do this, the officer will be immediately assessing your initial contact and paying attention to any odor that may emanate from your vehicle, such as if an odor of alcohol or drugs is present.
What May Law Enforcement Ask You To Do During a DUI Stop
If the officer makes contact with you and he or she is able to state that he recognized a moderate, strong or even a faint odor of alcohol, or state that your eyes were bloodshot or watery, or your speech was slurred or stammered, it’s likely that he or she will ask you if you have been drinking.
At this point, you may be asked to perform what would be the standard field sobriety tests. Majority of officers will start with the HGN test which includes the follow the pen. Then they’ll have you do the Walk and Turn and lastly, they’ll have you do the One Leg Stand. Those would be the trio of standard field sobriety tests that the officer would want you to perform during the stop.
Biggest Mistakes to Avoid
Some of the biggest mistakes to avoid during a DUI stop are being rude to the officer, yelling, screaming, and/or making the stop into something bigger than it already is. Your conduct is very much reflected in their reports. The better your conduct and the more professional you are, then the more professional the officer will be.
If the officer is not professional even though you have been very professional and courteous throughout, then this could be used as a part of a defense. You can use the fact that the officer was seeking out a reason to charge you when there was no reason at all for you to be stopped.