DWI Traffic Stops in Dallas, Texas

Constitutional Rights Regarding Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects all citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. A police officer must have probable cause to perform a legal search and seizure of your vehicle. Probable cause is a reasonable belief that you:

  • Have an arrest warrant with your name on it
  • Have committed a crime
  • Are in the process of committing a crime

Probable Cause and DWIs

In relation to DWIs, a police officer must have a reasonable belief that you are driving while intoxicated in order to pull you over and potentially administer a breathalyzer test or a field sobriety test. Probable cause for stopping an individual who is driving while intoxicated includes driving acts such as:

  • Speeding
  • Swerving in your lane
  • Weaving through lanes
  • Running red lights and/or stop signs
  • Driving extremely slowly
  • Driving carelessly
  • Failing to use turn signals
  • Failing to signal when changing lanes
  • Failing to use headlights
  • Failing to dim high beams when another car is within a relatively close distance
  • Expired registration, tags, or inspection stickers
  • Equipment failures, such as broken tail lights

Whether it may be for a minor traffic violation or a dangerous driving act, an officer must have probable cause before pulling you over.

Sobriety Checkpoints for DWIs

The Supreme Court of the United States has held that sobriety checkpoints on public roads are not an inherently unreasonable search and seizure for purposes of the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court reached this decision by balancing the public interest against an individual’s right to privacy while driving. More often than not, the safety of the community at large outweighs an individual’s rights when subjected to a sobriety checkpoint.

Challenging a DWI Traffic Stop

When evaluating the validity of your DWI traffic stop, it is important to consider factors such as:

  • Whether or not the traffic stop was valid
  • What the reason was for the traffic stop
  • Whether the arresting officer followed proper procedures when administering the breathalyzer test or field sobriety test
  • Whether the offender was read his or her Miranda rights

Have You Been Charged With a DWI Resulting From a Traffic Stop?

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DWI following a traffic stop, it is vital that you seek a strong legal defense to guide you through challenging your DWI. As DWIs involve complex laws, and the legality of traffic stops is often determined based on prior case law, it is important that you seek a criminal defense attorney with successful experience in challenging DWIs. The Wilder DWI Defense Firm is equipped with the knowledge and expertise of DWIs in the Dallas area needed to assist you through this complicated process. Contact our firm today to schedule your free consultation.