Contesting a DUI Stop in Oklahoma
As any driver who has been stopped for speeding or any other traffic offense can tell you, being pulled over is a nerve-wracking experience. This is especially true for those who are pulled over on suspicion of DUI. But it is important to remember that just being stopped or arrested for driving under the influence does not mean that you will be found guilty of this serious charge.
While there are many strategies that can be used for your defense, one of the most successful tactics involves challenging the officer’s probable cause requirements. As specified in our nation’s Constitution, law enforcement officials must have a valid reason to detain and/or arrest you—otherwise known as probable cause. If the officer who arrested you is unable to justify his or her actions, it may be grounds to dismiss your case.
Probable Cause: Part I
In a DUI case, the officer’s probable cause requirement begins when he or she initially stops you. For the stop to be considered valid, the officer must prove he or she had a reason for pulling you over—such as speeding, driving through a stop sign, or violating any other traffic law. Being out late at night or driving through a bad part of town do not meet the probable cause standard.
Probable Cause: Part II
Assuming the officer can establish probable cause for stopping you, he or she must then meet a second requirement: the officer must prove that he or she had a reason to suspect that you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Only after this second probable cause requirement has been established can the officer then administer a breathalyzer or other chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC).