If you are familiar at all with DUI law, you have likely heard that police must have probable cause to pull you over in the first place. What this means is that even if you are accused of drunk driving for a legitimate reason, such as failing a sobriety test, the police officer must have had reasonable suspicion that you were intoxicated in the first place. Essentially, a police officer cannot simply pull you over at random and test you for drunk driving.
In many instances of drunk driving, this is usually attributed to signs of reckless or negligent driving such as disobeying a stop sign or swerving in the lane unexpectedly. When police officers notice this type of behavior, they usually pull the driver over and investigate the probability of intoxication. However, there are other ways that reasonable suspicion can be afforded to police officers.
Whenever an accident occurs, it is generally considered grounds for reasonable suspicion, since the law assumes that some act of negligence or recklessness must have occurred in order to bring about the accident. If a police officer believes that the accident was caused by one driver’s intoxication, then the officer may choose to test the sobriety of the drivers involved.
As you can see, the law is very specific about drunk driving in many ways, which can be beneficial for individuals who are accused of drunk driving. Police must follow very strict procedures and regulations when pursuing criminal investigations, including drunk driving, and if they bypass these procedures, it could be more difficult for them to prove the guilt of the accused. However, the penalties for a drunk driving conviction are extremely high in Louisiana, which is why those accused of drunk driving are encouraged to consult with an attorney about their legal defense.