What does reasonable suspicion mean?

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2021 | Drunk Driving

Contrary to popular belief, police officers can’t initiate a traffic stop simply because they want to irritate the driver. Instead, they’re supposed to have a reason for conducting the stop. Often, this hinges on reasonable suspicion that a law or traffic code is being violated.

There are many things that qualify as reasonable suspicion. It essentially means that a reasonable person would have to believe that the signs point to something illegal going on.

What are some signs that could cause reasonable suspicion?

Police officers look at a host of things when they’re out patrolling. Some of the more common behaviors that might lead to a traffic stop include the following:

  • Weaving in and out of lanes
  • Driving too fast or too slow for conditions or the speed limit
  • Failing to stop for signs and traffic lights
  • Operating the vehicle without lights from dusk to dawn
  • Stopping suddenly without cause
  • Turning without using a signal

Officers must have probable cause if they’re going to arrest a person. This means that they need to have evidence suggesting that the crime was committed. For example, failing a blood alcohol concentration test would be reasonable suspicion for a drunk driving arrest.

Anyone who’s received a traffic ticket or has been arrested for drunk driving should ensure they know their options for dealing with the issue. These matters can be complex, but ignoring them isn’t ever a good idea. Taking action quickly to address your legal problems may mean that you have more options. It also gives you time to decide on your defense strategy.