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2 things that give an officer “reasonable suspicion” of DUI

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2023 | DUI |

With thousands of drunk driving-related accidents occurring every year, clamping down on this offense is a top priority for law enforcement in South Dakota. Despite officers being given powers to tackle criminal conduct, they cannot act with impunity. 

Officers must always strike a balance between investigating crime and respecting the privacy of individuals. Thus, law enforcement is generally not allowed to pull you over without having a reasonable suspicion that you could be impaired. Essentially, your conduct while driving must stand out from other drivers for the wrong reasons. 

Outlined below are two behaviors that could amount to reasonable suspicion:

1. Exceeding the speed limit 

To try and reduce accidents, the state of South Dakota imposes speed limits. These vary depending on the environment, with built-up areas typically having reduced speed limits, particularly around school zones. 

If law enforcement officers suspect that you have exceeded the speed limit in a given zone, then it’s likely that they will pull you over. Not only might you get a ticket for the alleged offense, but you may be investigated further for other infractions. Importantly, your speed does not necessarily have to be high to be pulled over. If you are driving well below the speed limit, this can also arouse suspicion. 

2. Aggressive driving 

Some people drive for leisure, while others use this as their main mode of transport on the commute. If you have somewhere to be, then it can become frustrating when you’re stuck in a traffic jam. 

You may be tempted to follow other drivers closely and look for your opportunity to change lanes and overtake. Any form of potentially aggressive driving is likely to alert law enforcement and it could give them the reasonable suspicion required to pull you over. 

You should not be stopped in an arbitrary manner. If you are facing criminal charges, seek legal guidance to come up with a defense strategy.