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5 common questions about traffic stops

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2023 | Drunk Driving

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.


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