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Utah Court Rules Reasonable Suspicion Sufficient Grounds to Investigate for DUI

The grounds for detaining and arresting a driver suspected of driving under the influence vary from state to state. Utah, which arguably has the strictest DUI laws in the country, permits an officer to detain a driver due to reasonable suspicion of a DUI. Utah drivers can also be charged with a DUI without conclusive results from chemical testing, and drivers may have no recourse for inaccurate charges.

For example, the Utah courts recently held that a woman who was charged with a DUI prior to the results of her blood alcohol test could not recover on a claim against the officer who arrested her, on the grounds the officer had reasonable suspicion she was intoxicated. If you are charged with a DUI, you should meet with an Illinois DUI attorney to analyze whether your arrest and subsequent charge comply with the standards imposed by Illinois law.

Utah Standard Regarding Detention for DUI

Allegedly, the defendant was driving when she was stopped by police due to an expired license plate. She advised the police officer that her new plate was in the trunk of her car, which the officer verified. The officer suspected the defendant was intoxicated, however, in spite of the fact that she was not stumbling or slurring her speech and her eyes were not glassy or bloodshot. The defendant admitted she had one beer with lunch, and submitted to field sobriety tests, which she failed. The defendant argued, however, that she was given unclear instructions on how to perform the test. She was subsequently arrested and taken to the county jail to provide a blood sample. She was charged with a DUI prior to the results of the blood test. The blood test ultimately revealed her blood alcohol level to be .01%, which was well below the legal limit in Utah of .05%.

The defendant subsequently filed suit against the county and the arresting officer for malicious prosecution due to the lack of probable cause for her arrest and subsequent DUI charge. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that probable cause was necessary to detain her, finding that the investigation and arrest could be conducted on the basis of reasonable suspicion. Rather, the Utah courts ultimately dismissed the defendant’s claim, in part, due to the finding that the arresting officer had reasonable suspicion to detain her.

Illinois Standard Regarding Detention for DUI

Similar to Utah law, Illinois law allows a police officer to stop a driver due to a reasonable suspicion the driver is impaired. Specifically, in People v. Hackett, the Illinois Supreme Court held that probable cause was not needed to stop a driver and conduct a DUI investigation. Rather, the Hackett court stated that a “reasonable, articulable suspicion” that a driver violated the motor vehicle code is sufficient to justify an investigatory stop. In Hackett, the court found a DUI investigation proper where the defendant driver veered over a traffic line.

Meet with an Experienced Illinois DUI Attorney Today

If you face DUI charges, you should retain a skilled Illinois DUI attorney to assist you in developing a defense. Harvatin Law Offices, PC aggressively advocates on behalf of residents in Illinois who are charged with DUI to assist them in seeking a favorable outcome. Contact our office at 217.525.0520, to schedule a meeting.

More Blog Posts:

Bicyclists Cannot Be Convicted of DUIs in Washington State Illinois DUI Lawyer Blog, January 2, 2018.

State Supreme Court Holds Police Cannot Take Warrantless Blood Draws From Unconscious DUI Suspects Illinois DUI Lawyer Blog, October 2, 2017.

How out of state DUI offenses affect Illinois driving privileges Illinois DUI Lawyer Blog, June 11, 2011.