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Do I have Fourth Amendment Rights In a Los Angeles DUI Arrest?

Your constitutional rights are applicable to a DUI arrest, just like in any other arrest. When an officer stops you for suspicion of a DUI, they can only obtain evidence within the guidelines of the Fourth Amendment. They must have reasonable cause, and suspicion to do so. In order to illustrate the concept, let’s discuss a few examples.

Danny is driving home from a networking event. He has had a few glasses of wine throughout the evening. Officers see him pull out of the parking lot and they start following him. Danny observes all traffic signals, and is driving within the traffic guidelines. After following him for about 25 minutes, officers get tired and pull him over. When Danny asks why he has been pulled over, officers tell him that it is because they think he has been drinking.

This is not a sufficient ground for pulling Danny over. In order for officers to pull him over, they must have reasonable grounds. This includes regular traffic violations, a DUI checkpoint, or a welfare stop. In the example, none of these reasons existed. Officers cannot pull someone over simply because they believe someone was drinking. It is a violation of your fourth amendment rights, and it is an unreasonable search and seizure.

Now let’s consider a second example.

Danielle is driving home from her friend’s birthday dinner. She has had one glass of wine three hours prior. She is driving home, and makes a right turn without stopping at a red light. This is a violation of traffic laws, and officers pull her over. They explain to her that she did not stop at the red light, prior to making her right turn. They also ask if she has been drinking. Danielle replies that she has not drank any alcohol in the time prior to driving. Danielle has no signs of intoxication, as there is no alcohol in her blood stream at the time. She is not slurring, she is cooperative and she is answering all the officer’s questions. The officer asks her to step out and submit to an alcohol screening test, which she does. The result is 0.00. However, officers tell her that there is a blood alcohol level and arrest her.

Officers did not have probable cause to arrest Danielle. They had no evidence or grounds to suspect that she had been drinking or was intoxicated. Any evidence gathered by officers will be in violation of Danielle’s fourth amendment rights.

Any evidence that is gathered in violation of a person’s Fourth Amendment rights is subject to being suppressed. In order to do this, consult with an experienced Los Angeles DUI Attorney who can file the appropriate motions before the court so that the evidence cannot be admitted or considered by the court with hearing your DUI case. This is an important right that you have and it must be protected. Talking to a legal professional will give you the information you need to determine whether your rights have been violated.