Being pulled over for a suspected DUI can be a jarring experience. During traffic stops, officers will look for signs of intoxication through various methods and testing procedures. A skilled criminal defense lawyer understands what is permitted and what is a rights violation during a traffic stop. If law enforcement fails to follow the relevant laws and protocols during a DUI arrest, you could use these violations as a defense in your case.
A knowledgeable attorney could help you understand what to expect during DUI stops in Edina and ensure that your rights are protected. To discuss your case with a dedicated professional, contact our office today.
Justifying the Initial Stop
All law enforcement officers need to have “reasonable suspicion” to justify a traffic stop. This means that an officer must observe a violation of law or suspected violation of law to pull someone over. Simply thinking the driver may be drunk is not enough.
Simple violations can justify a stop, such as crossing over a line, missing a turn signal, or other relatively minor traffic infractions. If a court finds that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion for the original stop, the case could be thrown out entirely due to a constitutional rights violation. An Edina attorney could use evidence from a DUI stop, such as body camera footage, to establish whether an officer had reasonable suspicion to stop the defendant.
Breath Testing During a DUI Stop
If a police officer suspects the driver is under the influence of alcohol, they could ask the driver to submit to a breath test. Under Minnesota Statutes § 169A.52, all drivers impliedly consent to breath testing. Denial of this breath test will result in administrative penalties in most cases.
The breath test itself is meant to measure the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood. If a person blows at or above 0.08% BAC, they are considered per se intoxicated, meaning that no additional evidence is needed to prove intoxication. It is advisable to discuss breath test results with a seasoned attorney to best understand their implications on an Edina DUI case.
Field Sobriety Testing During a DUI Stop
Field sobriety tests are often used by law enforcement during DUI stops to detect the potential intoxication of a motorist. These tests can be used to gauge alcohol or drug impairment. Field sobriety tests include:
- The one leg stand test
- The walk and turn test
- The horizontal gaze nystagmus test
Officers are instructed on how to look for certain indicators of intoxication using these tests. However, these tests can be highly inaccurate and are prone to user error. With the help of an experienced lawyer, an individual accused of driving under the influence in Edina could be able to demonstrate that field sobriety tests performed during their DUI stop were not accurate.
Challenging the Stop and Arrest
When a DUI stop is performed incorrectly or violates the driver’s constitutional rights, there may be a basis to challenge the defendant’s charges. Potential defenses include:
- Arguing there was no reasonable suspicion to justify the initial stop
- Demonstrating defects in the field sobriety testing procedures
- Showing issues with the chemical or breath testing
- Proving any other constitutional violation that violated search and seizure rights
An Edina lawyer could gather evidence from the DUI stop, such as body camera footage, dash camera footage, breath/blood test results, and more, to establish law enforcement’s wrongful conduct.
Discuss DUI Stops in Edina with a Committed Attorney
DUI stops in Edina must follow specific protocols designed to protect your constitutional rights. If law enforcement fails to properly conduct a DUI stop, you could fight to have your charges reduced or even dropped with the help of a skilled attorney. To learn more about your legal defense options after a DUI arrest, contact our office today. A member of our legal team could investigate your case, gather evidence, and construct a defense on your behalf.