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Dale City DUI Stops

A DUI charge can have numerous negative impacts on the life of an individual. Suddenly, the person charged has extremely burdening legal processes over their head that must be properly dealt with. It is important for any individual to understand how Dale City DUI stops occur, and the process and penalties associated with such a charge.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Dale City, it is pertinent that you contact a knowledgeable attorney immediately. A seasoned lawyer will be able to properly defend a charge and assist in lessening or reducing any consequences you may be facing.

Potential DUI Driving Behaviors

When Dale City police officers or state troopers are patrolling Dale City, they will look for signs that an individual could be intoxicated. These signs include an individual driving in an erratic manner, which includes behaviors such as:

  • Swerving
  • Slowing down when it is not appropriate to do so
  • Going too fast
  • Changing lanes without a turn signal on
  • Going through a red light
  • Stopping and starting on a road or highway

The number one sign an individual may be pulled over for a Dale City DUI stop is weaving between lanes without a turn signal. That is usually a clear indicator in the minds of the officers that a person is intoxicated.

DUI Stop Process

The typical Dale City DUI stop process is straightforward. If somebody commits a traffic infraction or something that the officer considers to be a traffic infraction, the officer will pull them over on suspicion of DUI, and often inspect the car for whatever infraction they pulled the individual over for.

The officer will have an interaction with the individual, usually ask for their license and registration, and ask if they had been drinking. If the officer feels at that point that a person has been drinking, they will ask them to step out of the vehicle to do a field sobriety test and take a preliminary breath test.

The individual has the opportunity to decline this test. If the individual declines, the officer needs to make a decision about whether or not there is probable cause to arrest the individual at that point. If the individual agrees to the tests, the officer will explain each test. Once the tests are taken, the officer will grade them on their performance on these tests. Law enforcement will then take a preliminary breath test and if it is over .08, the officer will arrest the individual regardless of the field sobriety tests.

To charge an individual with a drug-related DUI, law enforcement will determine if they have enough probable cause to know that somebody is under the influence of a drug and has been driving, and that driving behavior has been affected by that.

Search of a Vehicle

Sometimes the officers, especially if they see or smell marijuana during a Dale City DUI stop, will have a reason to suspect that there is some kind illegal drug or other contraband in the vehicle. The officers will want to search the vehicle.

If the officers arrest a person and that person’s vehicle is impounded, they will be allowed to search pursuant to what is called an inventory search.  If someone is arrested, their vehicle will be searched and any contraband that is in it may be found.

Mistakes to Avoid

The biggest mistakes an individual can avoid in a Dale City DUI stop is admitting that a person was drinking any alcohol, telling the officer that they were coming from any kind of club or establishment that serves alcohol, admitting evidence that could lead the officer to believe that a person has been drinking like being at a party, and doing any kind of field sobriety test or blowing in a breath test.

These will always be mistakes unless a person is completely sober, meaning the person has not had a drink in the last 24 hours. Only then should an individual blow into a preliminary breath test.

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