Utah DUI Stop
Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, illegal search and seizure is prohibited. In order to make a traffic stop for driving under the influence (DUI) in Utah, law enforcement agents must have proof (known as probable cause) that a crime is in the process of being committed (or has already been committed). This is extremely important, as violating your Fourth Amendment protections could result in the dismissal of your charges.
DUI Traffic Stop
When an officer suspects that a driver is intoxicated due to his or her driving patterns, a traffic stop may be made. Driving patterns that indicate impairment include driving over the line, swerving, and ignoring traffic signals. When you are pulled over, the officer may look for other signs of drunk driving, such as open containers in your vehicle, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, or the smell of alcohol. Once the officer establishes probable cause that you are driving while intoxicated, a DUI investigation may begin.
The officer may ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests to gather more evidence that you are impaired. These may include standardized field sobriety tests--such as the one-leg stand, horizontal gaze nystagmus, and walk-and-turn--or non-standardized tests like counting backwards or touching your nose with your eyes closed.
In addition, the officer may ask you to submit to a preliminary breathalyzer. Unlike the official breath test, which is typically administered at the police station, the results of this test cannot be used against you should your case go to trial--it is only used to determine if you are over the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of .08%; in fact, it is entirely voluntary.
If the officer decides that there is enough evidence to arrest you for DUI, you will be placed into the back of the patrol car and brought to the station for breathalyzer testing and booking.
Challenging Your DUI Stop
If you have reason to believe that your DUI traffic stop was invalid, or that the evidence used to arrest you for drunk driving was inaccurate, a defense lawyer can help. We are dedicated to investigating your case in order to determine an appropriate defense. If we find any errors in your stop or arrest, we can challenge the evidence in an effort to win your case.