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Illegal stop leads to dropped DUI charges

Drunk driving charges are obviously very serious. Aside from the stigma attached to a person that carries such a charge, a DUI can result in a person losing their license for quite some time. That can result in difficulties retaining or finding work. A DUI charge will also increase your insurance rates, often by a very large margin. This is another added financial difficult that, in addition to other fines and penalties, makes a DUI charge such a burden for the accused individual.

The thing is, these charges can be successfully defended in a number of ways. Many Rock Hill residents may assume that, if someone is accused of drunk driving, then they must be guilty. However, sometimes there are shades of gray. For example, it is possible to reduce the punishment you receive from a DUI charge; and it is possible to appeal the decision of your case. In either scenario, this could result in fewer fines, less (or no) impact on your insurance and the possibility of keeping your license.

You can even get the case dismissed, if the police did not follow due process -- which is illustrated in the following story out of Massachusetts.

A man was driving down the street during the day with his fog lights on. He was driving home from a party the night before, where he consumed alcohol. The police pulled him over because of his fog lights, noticed an odor of alcohol coming from the car and admitted a breath test. The man blew a 0.14, over the 0.08 legal limit. He was arrested for DUI.

But the case was dismissed. Why? Well, driving with your fog lights on is not illegal. The police had no probable cause to pull the vehicle over; thus, the DUI charge stemming from that illegal stop is invalid.

Source: Gloucester Times, "Drunken driving case tossed over fog-light stop," Marjorie Nesin, May 23, 2013

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