The first phase of a DUI arrest is the DUI stop. In any DUI stop, the police do not have a right to simply stop anyone’s car to see if they are DUI. Rather, the cops must be able to demonstrate that they had a reasonable and articulable purpose for stopping your car. It could be something as trivial as a rolling stop at a stop sign, expired registration tags, or a broken tail light. As long as there is a law that you are violating, the cops can stop your car.
However, if they did not have a right to stop your car, then everything that they saw or learned after the DUI stop is inadmissable in court. Put simply, the DUI arrest was invalid. Here are some examples of successful suppression motions we have brought in the past.
- Tinted windows: Client was stopped by the cops for having front-side tinted windows. But front-side tinted windows are not, in and of themselves, against the law. If the windows have a minimum light transference of 88%, then the windows are legal. What the cop should have said, but failed to, was that the windows were tinted too darkly or so dark that he couldn’t see inside the cab of the car. But because he said that he stopped my client simply because her windows were tinted too darkly, the case was thrown out of court.
- Rolling stop at a stop sign: Client made a complete stop but the cop said she didn’t. Video in the cops car showed she did! Case dismissed.
- Illegal left hand turn at an intersection: Vehicle code provides that you have to signal when making a left-hand turn unless there is no traffic in the area. Cop stopped client for failing to signal at an intersection at 2 am on a weeknight when there was no traffic in the area and the cop was over 1,000 feet behind the client’s car. Case was dismissed.