What does reasonable cause have to do with a DUI arrest? It has a lot to do with it, and in fact, you cannot have one without the other. It is a crucial part of a DUI arrest and can lead to a dismissal of a DUI, if it is appropriate.
When an officer first asks a driver to pull over, he must have reasonable cause to do so. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, but in a majority of cases there must be reasonable cause for the officer to ask a driver to pull over. If there is no reasonable cause, then this could lead to a dismissal of the case, as any evidence that is not properly gathered is inadmissible.
Let’s consider an example to get a good understanding of how reasonable cause is applied to a DUI arrest.
Lets assume that Oliver is an officer and he is parking on the shoulder of an off ramp and he is watching for oncoming traffic. Oliver may ask a driver who is speeding off the freeway to pull over. He may also request a driver to pull over if they are running the red light, or swerving in and out of lanes. These are all reasonable causes that would justify Oliver pulling someone over.
Oliver may also ask someone who has no headlights on to pull over, or someone who has illegally tinted windows to pull over. The officer may not ask someone to pull over because he sees them pulling out of a bar, or because he believes that they might be drinking. These are not valid reasons and will not constitute reasonable cause.
Let’s say that Oliver sees someone pulling out of a bar and pulls them over. His reason is simply because he believes they were drinking. The driver has not committed any traffic violations, but is simply pulled over based on Oliver’s whim. This is not probable cause. Let’s say Oliver subjects the driver to a field sobriety test anyways, and is in fact right, the driver has been drinking. The field sobriety test reads at .12. Unfortunately, the evidence of the .12 blood alcohol level will not be admissible because Oliver obtained it without following proper procedure.
Asking a driver to stop, purely based upon an officer’s whim, is in violation of the driver’s fourth amendment rights. These are constitutional rights afforded by the Constitution and taken very seriously.
If you believe that your rights have been violated, and you were not stopped with a sufficient cause, then you may have a probability to get your case reduced or dismissed. It is important for you to speak to a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer who specializes in that area of law and knows the law inside and out. They will be able to give you a knowledgeable and educated assessment of your defenses and arguments, allowing you to fully understand your case and the probability of dismissal.