Slow driving can sometimes be used to justify a Milwaukee DUI stop, but other times it cannot. It is hard to make generalizations about this driving behavior because “driving too slowly” can mean a number of things, from waiting too long to go after a light turns green to driving at a speed lower than the speed limit.
There have been court rulings around the country in favor of slow driving as reasonable suspicion to pull over a driver for a DUI stop. In Montana, a police officer encountered a driver who was stopped at a flashing red light for ten seconds. The officer honked his horn, indicating that he ought to proceed, but instead, the driver remained there for 15 seconds more; the court approved the subsequent stop.
Other rulings stated that driving too slowly was not a legitimate reason for a DUI stop. A New Jersey court determined that a stop was not based on reasonable suspicion in the case of an officer who pulled over a driver for waiting five seconds after the light had turned green to resume driving. Other courts have ruled that driving under the speed limit is not enough to warrant a DUI stop, especially in the case of highways that do not have minimum speed limits.
Even within the same state, courts can have contrary opinions on slow driving as a reason for a traffic stop. In a case where the defendant was driving 25 to 30 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone, a Georgia court found that there was no reasonable suspicion. However, in another Georgia case where a driver was driving on the interstate at a low enough speed to be considered a safety hazard, the court determined that slow driving was enough to merit a DUI stop.
Determining the legitimacy of a DUI stop is just one of the many elements of a good DUI defense. For a free evaluation of your case by the Milwaukee DUI attorneys at Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C., please fill out the form on this page.
Continue to our third installment of Pretexts for Traffic Stops; Squealing Tires and Car Equipment Violations