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What evidence might officers look for in a DUI stop?

 Posted on August 20, 2021 in DUI Law

The idea of getting into any kind of legal trouble can stress out any Illinois resident. Unfortunately, almost anyone could end up in a situation where a police officer believes the person has violated the law in some way. One of the most common of these situations is when police believe that a person has consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.

As you know, drunk driving is a serious issue on roadways across the country. While officers have a duty to keep these roadways as safe as possible, it is not unheard of for officers to make a mistake when accusing someone of drinking and driving. If you find yourself facing criminal charges for DUI, understanding the evidence needed for such a charge may prove useful to your defense.

Evidence officers look for

Even if a police officer stopped your vehicle for an unrelated reason, such as noticing your brake light was out or thinking you were texting and driving, it is possible for that traffic stop to turn into a DUI investigation, which may have happened to you. While officers investigate to determine whether the situation warrants an arrest, they often look for the following details to use as evidence:

  • Whether your driving suggested impairment, such as an inability to maintain your lane or erratic speeding up and braking
  • Whether your behavior and appearance suggest impairment, such as if you have bloodshot eyes, appear disheveled, fail field sobriety tests or seem nervous
  • Whether the officer detects an odor of alcohol coming from you or the vehicle
  • Whether chemical test results reveal a blood alcohol concentration level over the legal limit, which officers typically obtain through a breath test

Even if an officer believes that this evidence exists, it does not immediately mean you are guilty. A number of reasons could exist for looking disheveled, seeming nervous, not performing well on field sobriety tests and other details that may seemingly point toward impairment. Nonetheless, an officer may still file charges against you.

Defending against allegations

Understanding the evidence against you could play an essential role in your criminal defense. You may have the ability to make counterpoints to the evidence, such as indicating that the field sobriety tests were conducted on uneven ground or that you swerved while driving to avoid something in the roadway. The exact counterpoints you could make will depend on your specific case but exploring these options may be wise as your case moves forward.

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