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Pretext Stops

DUI Law Your Sacramento DUI attorney is aware that a DUI stop is not invalidated by an improper motivation on the part of the police officer (an exception to this involves equal protection issues). If objectively reasonable grounds exist for a stop, such as a traffic violation, the United States Supreme Court approves it even if the real reason for the stop is something entirely different, e.g., to look for drugs. Stops such as this are known as pretext stops.

Common Basis for Traffic Stops

While there are many reasons for an officer to use on a pretext stop, a few of these regularly reoccurand often end in DUI charges. Listed below are some commonly employed traffic stops your Sacramento DUI attorney is aware of, as well as how different courts in the country determine whether or not they validate a DUI stop.

Weaving Within the Lane Boundaries

When weaving within the lane occurs for a considerable distance, some courts have found that an officer has reasonable cause to conduct a stop on suspicion of DUI. One court in California determined the considerable distance was three-fourths of a mile. “Continued weaving” in the lane has also been found to justify a stop.

Other courts do not allow a stop for weaving within the lane, and rule that when a vehicle touches the lane boundary, it is still considered within the lane and therefore not in violation. In a case in Texas, an officer estimated that a vehicle wove between 2 and 7 times within the lane for about 1.5 miles. The court ruled against the stop,particularly because the officer could not conclusively state how many times the weaving had occurred.

Contact Us

If you have been charged with a DUI and would like to talk with an experienced and knowledgeable Sacramento DUI attorney, please contact Param Pabla by calling (916) 285-7900.

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