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Examining the Most Probable Causes for a DUI Traffic Stop When a police officer is patrolling the streets at night, they are on the lookout for all types of criminal activity. While surveying other drivers, they are most cautious of inebriated drivers. While a police officer may presume that almost every driver on the road at 2 a.m. is possibly under the influence, they are not able to pull over a driver for a traffic stop without a legitimate reason. Below, we examine the most common reasons why people are pulled over for DUI traffic stops.  

Likely Reasons for a DUI Stop

Once a police officer has pulled you over, it is likely that they will be looking for signs of inebriation. While you are not legally obligated to engage in conversation with the officer (simply offer them the necessary documents they need to process your driving information), the officer will be able to gather further information regarding your potential levels of intoxication, simply based on coming into contact with you. For instance, an officer will immediately look at a person’s eyes, smell their clothes and breath, and listen for signs of slurred speech. Because this process of gaining evidence can be critical in a DUI arrest, it is important to understand that a police officer is not legally allowed to pull you over unless you are violating traffic laws.  

The most common reasons people are pulled over in DUI traffic stops include:

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How to Safely React to a DUI Traffic Stop It is common to panic when you are pulled over on the suspicion that you may be driving under the influence of alcohol. Seeing those red and blue lights behind your vehicle can spark a wide array of emotions. As you prepare to pull over and speak with the law enforcement official, it is important to remain calm and operate your vehicle in a safe manner. If you are charged with a DUI, you still have a number of options at your disposal. Speaking with a qualified defense attorney can help you in finding the best course of action, moving forward. 

Remain Calm, Stay Safe

According to the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State, the vast majority of DUI arrests occur between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m., on weekends. When officers are patrolling at night, they are likely prone to take increased precautions due to the amount of night-time criminal activity and their lack of visibility. Below are three tips you should follow if you are pulled over:

  1. Find a Safe Place to Stop: Once the officer turns on their lights, indicating that they have noticed unusual or negligent vehicle operation, it is important for you to find a safe place to pull over. While you should try to pull over in a timely fashion, safety is the top priority. Avoid pulling over at a curve in the road or in a place with a limited shoulder. If necessary, safely pull into a parking lot. Recognize the fact that other vehicles may not be aware of the traffic stop, and avoid the temptation to come to a sudden stop.
  2. Remain Calm and Respectful: As the officer approaches your vehicle, you need to remain composed. Do not leave the vehicle, and make sure that both your hands are visibly resting on the steering wheel. Avoid making sudden movements, and only remove your hands when the officer requests your driver’s license or insurance information. The manner in which you speak to the officer can go a long way in your case. By remaining calm and speaking to the officer in a respectful manner, you are ensuring that the situation will not escalate, and your cooperation may be useful in a courtroom setting.
  3. Know Your Options: While it is important to be respectful, it is also important to know your rights. If the officer asks you to take part in chemical testing, it is not mandatory for you to comply. Refusing to take part in chemical testing is not a criminal offense. While you will face an automatic one-year license suspension, you may avoid a DUI charge on your permanent record. If you have any questions regarding your options in the event of a traffic stop, we would be happy to answer them. 

Contact an Oak Brook DUI Defense Lawyer

In the event of a charge, the first step you should take is hiring a defense attorney that you can believe in. Even if you refuse chemical testing and are simply cited for a statutory summary suspension, a quality lawyer can ensure that you secure a restricted driving permit (RDP). In the event of a DUI charge, it is important to take the charges incredibly seriously. Even a first-time DUI conviction can result in substantial fines, a mark on your driving record, and difficulty securing housing and employment opportunities. 

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