DUI Stop Process in Norfolk, VA

If you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence in Norfolk the following is what you should know about the DUI stop process. To learn more call and schedule a consultation today with a Norfolk DUI lawyer today.

What Law Enforcement Officers Look For Before Pulling Someone Over For a DUI

When a Norfolk law enforcement officer is pulling someone over for a DUI, he is generally looking for any type of driving behavior that is out of the norm. If someone is weaving in traffic, for example, this is generally suggestive of someone who is either not paying attention or who is not fully aware of what they’re doing and potentially impaired. Additionally, if someone is driving too fast or too slow, this could be an indication that they have been drinking so this is something that law enforcement would pull someone over for.

Generally, a lot of times for DUIs, people are pulled over for something unrelated to whether they have been drinking or not such as a tail light or any either tag or something else that would typically just a traffic infraction, which eventually brings to the officer’s attention that the driver has been drinking and then it turns into a DUI stop.

What a Typical Traffic Stop Looks Like In Norfolk

In order for an officer to pull someone over, there has to be reasonable articulable suspicion for the stop.  This can be really anything as long as it will justify a reason to stop the vehicle, like a tail light that’s out or speeding vehicle or weaving through the lanes.  Once they have this, then the officer needs to have probable cause in order to get an arrest.  So from the second that the car is pulled over until the person is either released or arrested, the officer’s main goal is trying to get enough probable cause to make the DUI arrest and to get enough evidence to have a conviction result from a DUI arrest.  That means that the officers typically will ask a lot of questions such as: do you know why I stopped you, how much have you had to drink or where were you going, anything like that that’s going to get the defendant to talk.

Sometimes, they’re even looking for what the answers are.  They are trying to see if the defendant is slurring or if she is incoherent or anything that’s suggesting that they are drinking, then the officer will generally ask them to step out of the vehicle and perform the field sobriety test which includes a whole number of tests and often times, they will ask also for the preliminary breath test.  After that, either the officer will decide that there is enough probable cause for the arrest and then will arrest the defendant or will let the defendant go.

Will The Officer Want to Search The Vehicle?

The officer may want to search the vehicle if they think that there is a reason to do so such as an open container or something else in plain view that may result in more evidence for the officers.  If the officer thinks that for some reason, there maybe something dangerous in the vehicle or the driver does something dangerous, then he could also search the vehicle for that. In general for a DUI, it’s not really as necessary as it would be for drugs because there is not much evidence of driving under the influence that’s present in the vehicle as there would be for something drug related.