Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in every state. If an officer believes someone is driving drunk, then they’ll perform a traffic stop. While many people understand this, the intricacies of a traffic stop can be confusing.
As such, you may have questions about traffic stops. Here’s what people commonly ask:
1, What is a sobriety test?
A sobriety test is an evaluation to determine if someone is drunk driving. Police commonly use two forms of sobriety tests: A standardized sobriety test is a physical evaluation, while a breath alcohol content test (like a Breathalyzer) is done with chemical testing.
2. What does BAC stand for?
If an officer asks a driver to take a breath test, then they’re evaluating their blood alcohol content or BAC. BAC is the amount of alcohol in someone’s system. If the driver’s BAC is 0.08% or higher, then they’re driving while impaired and may be charged with a DWI.
3. Can you refuse a breath test?
Many people believe they have the right to refuse a breath test. While that’s not entirely false, it can result in a criminal charge. This is because drivers must abide by implied consent laws which state that a breath test is mandatory. However, a standardized sobriety test can be refused without penalties.
4. Can police pull over anyone for a traffic stop?
The police need reasonable suspicion before they can perform a traffic stop. That’s to say, there must be a clearly defined reason for an officer to pull someone over. For example, swerving or straddling the centerline may be enough reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop.
5. Should you seek legal help?
A DWI conviction can impact your permanent criminal record forever — and your life for years to come. If you’re facing a DWI charge, then you should understand your legal options when creating a defense.