Burke Levy, P.C.

Did the officer have a valid reason to stop you for alleged OUI?

If you are facing allegations of driving under the influence of alcohol, you're probably feeling nervous about the legal process and uncertain about how best to proceed. Being convicted of DUI -- known also as OUI in Massachusetts -- can result in serious consequences that could have a substantial impact on your future.

Simply being involved in a traffic stop is stressful enough, and you may not be eager to revisit the events that led up to your arrest. However, addressing these matters in detail could also be essential to a successful defense against the charge. For example, if the officer did not have a legally valid reason to stop you, the charge against you could be dismissed.

Reasonable cause to suspect impairment

A traffic stop can take place under a variety of circumstances, including anything from a speeding violation to a non-functioning tag light. However, before an officer can pull you over on suspicion of intoxicated driving, there must be a valid reason to suspect impairment, such as:

  • Lane violations: Drifting in and out of a lane or straddling the center line are two scenarios that could give an officer reasonable suspicion.
  • Moving violations: Making illegal turns can be dangerous, but the can also be signs of unlawful behavior, such as impaired driving.
  • Erratic behavior: Erratic driving behavior can take a variety of forms, such as constant braking or frequent and unnecessary stops, and a traffic stop for similar concerns could give an officer reason to further investigate the matter.
  • Accidents or near misses: If you cause a motor vehicle accident, or if you nearly miss striking other vehicles or nearby objects, an officer may have reasonable suspicion.

Regardless of the circumstances that led to your arrest, it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney who has intricate knowledge of Massachusetts drunk driving laws. If there is a strong defense against the charge, a skilled lawyer can help you build that defense.

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