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Things to know about DWI

On Behalf of | Jul 17, 2021 | DWI |

If a Minnesota police officer makes a traffic stop and asks a driver to step out of his or her vehicle, there is usually a reason. If the stop was made because a patrol officer tracked a speeding vehicle on a radar gun, there is not necessarily a reason for the driver to have to exit the vehicle to issue a speeding ticket. When this type of request is made, it is often because the police officer in question suspects a driver of DWI.  

Police must have a legitimate reason for making a traffic stop 

A driver is entitled to know why he or she has been pulled over by a police officer, and the police officer is supposed to be able to state a specific reason. A police officer must have information or have witnessed something that most other patrol officers would consider a reasonable basis for making a traffic stop. In addition to having a specific reason for pulling someone over, a police officer must have probable cause to make a DWI arrest.  

What constitutes probable cause in such cases? 

A police officer cannot choose a car at random and arrest the driver for suspected DWI without having evidence that he or she has committed the crime. If a driver submits to a field sobriety test and fails, the police officer who administered the test may have probable cause to take the driver into custody for suspected intoxication. Failing a preliminary alcohol screening would also be cause to suspect a DWI. A Breathalyzer test is often administered after an arrest to document the accused individual’s blood alcohol content level.  

The Fourth Amendment protects against unlawful search or seizure 

If a person is arrested for DWI without probable cause, there may be grounds for requesting that the case be dismissed. Any type of personal rights violation could have a significant impact on the outcome of a specific Minnesota case. Anyone who believes that there is a justifiable reason for requesting a dismissal may want to ask an experienced criminal law attorney to review the case.