Factors that influence reasonable suspicion for drunk driving

The holiday season can be one of the most hectic times of the year for almost any worker. Retail and grocery stores have to work extra hours to satisfy the excess of shoppers coming, and employees with families have to make plans for their days off to travel or spend time with their children. The roads will fill with those performing their holiday errands or travelers coming to see their relatives.

It is also one of the busiest times for police officers as well. The holidays in late November and December feature an excess of drunk drivers on the road putting others in danger as they celebrate their time off. With police on high alert, motorists will have to be extra careful of their behavior on the road. An officer can pull someone over based on reasonable suspicion that they may be driving while intoxicated. While they base most of it upon the driver’s actions on the road, there are several other variables that impact their decision. Motorists should be aware of these factors so they can take precaution before getting behind the wheel.

The location

According to the University of North Carolina School of Government’s Criminal Law blog, a driver’s current or previous location can play a large part in reasonable suspicion. This includes how close they were to a crime scene, if the area they were in as a high rate of drug or alcohol-related incidents or if there were any nearby witnesses to the person’s actions.

In the case of drunk driving, an officer may be more inclined to pull you over if they saw you driving erratically after going near or coming from a bar. Timing can also play a large role, as bars are one of the few establishments open in the late hours of the night. This means that even being just outside of a town that has a bar could influence their decision if they see you driving too fast.

Prior history

Technology has also advanced to the point where police can look up your license plate and see if you have a criminal history within seconds. Seeing that you were have a DWI arrest history might make them suspicious if they catch you drifting between lanes or making illegal turns. Some police are more likely to pull these motorists over even for the slightest of driving mistakes. On top of that, North Carolina lawmakers have been making a push for police to have more license plate readers on state roads.

While these factors can contribute to an officer’s reasonable suspicion, they cannot be the sole reason. If you believe you were unfairly pulled over and arrested for DWI, seek legal assistance for your defense to avoid receiving severe criminal charges.

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