Many drivers believe that they will only be pulled over and subjected to a Breathalyzer test if they are found to be driving recklessly. Therefore, some drivers engage in illegal drunk driving because they are overly confident in their driving abilities. However, if you are driving while over the legal alcohol limit, you should know that you can be pulled over even if you are not driving erratically.
There are many ways in which law enforcement officials can pull over a driver and ask them to take a Breathalyzer test. In some cases, it is lawful to initiate a Breathalyzer test without making a traffic stop due to having a reasonable suspicion of intoxication. The following is an overview of the ways in which DUI traffic stops can be made.
An observation of erratic driving
When a driver is speeding or engaging in strange behavior such as slowing down or speeding up without warning, other drivers on the road may alert the police. This can lead to a traffic stop due to erratic driving, and the driver will almost certainly be subject to a sobriety test.
DUI checkpoints, otherwise known as sobriety checkpoints or roadside safety checks, are designed to randomly check drivers. They are most commonly set up during times that are high-risk for drunk driving, such as late at night or during holidays. The nature of these randomized checks means that law enforcement officials do not need to have a reasonable suspicion of intoxication in order to ask you to perform a field sobriety test.
Field sobriety tests after a general traffic stop
Perhaps most commonly, sobriety tests are carried out when a driver is pulled over for another reason. For example, if a driver has a broken light or an invalid license plate, they will be pulled over. If they seem to be intoxicated when they are pulled over, they may be asked to perform a test such as walking in a straight line. If they appear to be intoxicated, they will then be subjected to a Breathalyzer test.
If you are facing DUI charges after being pulled over by law enforcement officials in South Carolina, you may be wondering about the best defense strategy available to you. Make sure that you take action to understand your rights under the law.