Before a person can be stopped and asked to submit to an alcohol screening test, there are many procedures an officer must follow. These procedures are crucial and put into place so that a person’s constitutional rights are not violated. An officer cannot arbitrarily stop a driver and ask him or her to take an alcohol drug test.
Before an officer can even stop someone and question them regarding alcohol or drug use, they must have probable cause. Probable cause may be achieved in several different way.
- Traffic violation
If a driver has violated traffic codes then the officer has grounds to ask the driver to pull over. This includes speeding, swerving, or even running a red light. If the driver has not violated any kind of traffic code, or other code, the officer has no grounds to pull them over and even begin an alcohol or drug test.
- Good Samaritan check
The part of an officer’s job is to make sure the general public is safe. If a person is pulled over by the side of the road, it is an officer’s job to check and make sure the driver is ok. If there is car trouble, or if there is something wrong, the officer has to check on the person. If an officer stops to find out if someone who is pulled over is ok, and they come to find that there may be reasonable suspicion to check for alcohol or drug use.
- DUI Stop
Oftentimes, officer will set up a DUI checkpoint. At a checkpoint, a driver must follow the cones, forcing them to be stopped and questioned by an officer. If an officer finds reasonable suspicion to ask a driver to submit to a drug or alcohol screening test, then they have the grounds to do so. It is also important to note that a driver may approach a DUI checkpoint and opt to turn around and go a different way. Doing so can in many different situations prevent it from being used against you.
When an officer gains probable cause for a DUI stop, his or her obligations to follow procedure are not over. Before an officer can ask a person to submit to alcohol or drug testing, the officer must have reasonable suspicion. The reasonable suspicion can arise from the officer’s observations. This can be slurring, red and watery eyes, or alcohol on the breath. Or reasonable suspicion can also, more often than not, come from admissions from the driver themselves. If a driver admits to having been drinking prior to driving, the officer has all they need to proceed with an alcohol and drug screening test.
There are many procedures that an officer must follow, and they must be very careful otherwise all evidence they have gathered may be thrown out. Therefore, the actual arrest must be gone over with a fine toothed comb. A Los Angeles DUI lawyer has the knowledge and expertise to carefully review how all evidence has been gathered, so be sure to consult with a professional as soon as possible.