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No DUI case without reasonable suspicion

Driving under the influence is a crime that the state of Georgia does not treat lightly. Numerous people suffer injuries or worse in accidents with drunk drivers. As such, police are constantly on the lookout for potential DUI suspects.

Here is the thing with DUI cases: there is no case if the arresting officer lacked reasonable suspicion from the get-go. Wondering what that means? Reasonable suspicion simply means that an officer has to have reason to believe a person is committing a crime in order to detain that individual and start an investigation. In DUI cases, this means that, before an officer can initiate a traffic stop, he or she has to witness something that suggests a driver is operating his or her vehicle while impaired.

Why does reasonable suspicion matter? If law enforcement officers did not have to establish reasonable suspicion, they could abuse their power. They would have the ability to pull anyone over, whenever they want -- which is not okay. The requirement to establish reasonable suspicion is there to protect the public.

Reasonable suspicion in a DUI case may be established by watching a person commit a traffic violation. Common traffic violations committed by impaired drivers tend to include failure to maintain lane, making illegal turns, erratic driving, and causing or nearly causing collisions -- among various others. Georgia residents who find themselves facing DUI charges following traffic stops have the right to question if reasonable suspicion was sufficiently established in their cases. If it was not, and they can prove that in court, the charges may be dismissed.

Source: FindLaw, "What is Reasonable Suspicion for a DUI Stop?", Accessed on May 29, 2018

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