Updated on February 5th, 2024 at 08:51 pm

Weaving is a driving behavior that involves either moving within a single lane or in and out of different lanes. Both behaviors are considered dangerous and could be used to pull over an individual, a stop that could end in Milwaukee DUI charges being filed.

Weaving within the lane in which you are driving is considered reasonable cause for a police officer to stop a vehicle on suspicion of drunk driving as long as the weaving continues for a substantial distance, according to many court decisions.

From state to state and case to case, however, moving within a single lane may not even be considered weaving. In California, it was determined that sustained weaving was enough to warrant a stop. On the other hand, courts in other states have ruled that weaving within a single lane was not enough to allow for the vehicle to be detained. Yet other courts have found that moving within a single lane is not even weaving at all, thus not a violation of the law and no grounds for a traffic stop.

While weaving is sometimes one of the driving behaviors considered legitimate evidence for a traffic stop, what amount of weaving and/or how long a driver must be weaving before a police officer is considered to have reasonable cause varies from state to state. It also varies within each state depending on the case in question. California’s definition of weaving includes doing so within a lane and such behavior becomes reasonable suspicion after three-quarters of a mile. In Texas, however, a police officer followed a driver for about twice that distance and estimated that he saw the vehicle weaving between two and seven times; his uncertainty in terms of how many times the driver weaved led to the court deciding against the legitimacy of the stop, and distance was irrelevant.

Because laws and their applications can be so confusingly variable, the help of a qualified OWI lawyer in Milwaukee at Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C. can be invaluable in fighting the serious charge of a DUI. Fill out the form on the page to find out what can be done for your case.

Nathan J. Dineen