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Attorneys Stephen G. Fabian Jr. and Brian P. Young

Getting pulled over for a DUI: how and why it usually happens

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2020 | DUI - Drunk Driving |

Arrests for driving under the influence usually occur after a traffic stop. Sometimes, there are checkpoints set up to catch intoxicated drivers. Regardless of the circumstances, DUI arrests in Oklahoma typically involve someone operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol level beyond the legal limit.

A person does not need to be operating a vehicle to face charges for DUI, however. Sitting or sleeping in the driver’s seat while parked with possession of the vehicle’s keys could lead to a DUI charge if their blood alcohol content is .08% or higher. That number can be lower for those under 21. In Oklahoma, the number is 0.00%. That means even the slightest amount of alcohol in the system may lead to charges. Also, a person can be charged with a DUI while under the influence of drugs. A field drug test commonly comes into play when the police suspect drug and not alcohol use.

The police generally rely on probable cause to pull a vehicle over for a suspicion of a DUI. A driver weaving in and out of lanes, speeding up and slowing down, constantly braking or otherwise driving erratically would probably raise suspicions. It is not unusual for the police to pull a vehicle over for a traffic violation and then expand the investigation to include DUI tests.

A field sobriety test allows the police to ask a driver to perform physical actions to determine impairment. The tests may then be followed with a chemical test.

Seeking representation from a criminal defense attorney may help someone navigate the court system when charged with DUI. An attorney may explore issues regarding weak probable cause, improper or flawed testing and other defenses. An attorney may also be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the court depending on the circumstances. Doing so might lead to a reduced sentence.