A person who has had a few too many often tries to compensate by driving more slowly. But driving too far under the speed limit can also give police the probable cause they need to stop you for drunk driving.
In one Illinois case, People v Biagi, the defendant drove 32 mph in a 55 speed limit zone. The defendant then pulled over on the shoulder of a rural road. An officer, believing defendant was having car trouble, stopped to help. The officer then became suspicious that the driver had been drinking. The defendant was charged with DUI.
The stop was legal under the officer’s community caretaking function. Community caretaking allows police to make a stop without probable cause, provided the officer is performing some function other than investigating a crime. Any search or seizure must be reasonable because it is undertaken to protect the safety of the general public. Community caretaking includes offering help to stopped cars, determining if someone is having a medical emergency or helping parents find lost children.
The Biagi court held that the above stop was reasonably undertaken to protect the safety of the public because defendant’s car partially blocked the road on top of a hill which would force other drivers to pass him without being able to see oncoming traffic. Therefore, the defendant’s motion to suppress the DUI evidence from the stop was denied.
If you have been charged with a driving offense, contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. If police did not have a valid reason to stop you, an attorney may be able to ask the court to suppress the evidence from your arrest. Even if the police acted properly and the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the court house may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.
If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)