There are a handful of days throughout the year when police know ahead of time there will be far more drivers than usual driving while under the influence. Super Bowl Sunday is one of those days (as are New Year’s Eve, Christmas, Labor Day and the 4th of July) and as a result, there are more police on the roads and more DUI checkpoints, all of which results in more people needing the services of DUI defense lawyers in Vista.
Reasonable Suspicion is Necessary
Remember that police must have a reasonable suspicion you have violated the vehicle code, or have a valid tip to stop you. Once stopped, the police need also objective reasons to detain you beyond the time necessary to give you a traffic ticket. Finally, the police need probable cause to believe you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving over .08 to arrest you for drunk driving.
In other words, just because it’s Super Bowl Sunday doesn’t mean they can pull you over and ask you to perform a Breathalyzer, nor is it enough of a reason for them to ask you to perform field sobriety tests after you are stopped for a broken tail light. Instead, they need some indication you might be intoxicated, such as slurred speech, red/blood-shot eyes, or the odor of alcohol or marijuana on your breath.
While officers can use a great number of things as grounds for reasonable suspicion, if they cannot justify their grounds for testing you for drunk driving, your Vista DUI attorney may be able to have the case against you dropped.
Checkpoints Must be Operated Legally
Not everyone who is arrested for drunk driving on Super Bowl Sunday is randomly pulled over. Many people go through DUI checkpoints set up throughout the city. But these must be operated legally or else the resulting charges can be tossed out. That means that all cars must be stopped or that they must be stopped at specifically set intervals, not at the discretion of the officers operating the checkpoint. Checkpoints must be run by supervisors in a reasonable, safe location and with limited officer discretion as to procedures to be followed. The failure to follow these guidelines may result in the checkpoint being found unconstitutional and drunk driving cases dismissed.
If you are charged with drunk driving on Super Bowl Sunday or any other day of the year, remember that you can fight the accusations. Schedule your free initial consultation with top Vista drunk driving lawyer Peter M. Liss by calling (760) 643-4050.
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