Question: I was stopped in Dunwoody and charged with DUI. I was speeding, but I wasn’t going that fast, so how would the police know that I was drunk?
I was driving home from seeing a play in midtown that a friend was in and after that we went to a bar and a restaurant, but I wasn’t really drunk. I had some wine and a fruity martini.
I was driving home and a Dunwoody police officer said I was speeding. I admit I probably was. He said I was going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. It’s over the speed limit but it’s not that fast.
So the cop pulls me over on Mount Vernon Road after I dropped off my cousin and I cooperated with him and I was honest. He asked me if I’d been drinking and I said no at first because I was scared, but I didn’t want to lie and I admitted that I had only 3 beers. It was about 2:00 AM so he was probably suspicious of anyone driving and I was unlucky to be driving by.
When I did the field tests, I stumbled twice. I don’t think it was from drinking; I think it was because I was just tired.
But I want to know if I can legally get a DUI after I get pulled over for a pretty minor speeding charge. Just because I was speeding doesn’t mean I’m drunk and I don’t know why the cop suspected I was drunk when he pulled me over. He said he smelled alcohol, but maybe he was wrong or just bluffing.
I don’t think I should get a DUI just because I was speeding and I wasn’t speeding that fast.
P.N. in Sandy Springs, GA
Answer: As a Dunwoody DUI lawyer, I see police stop cars for many, many reasons. The fact that you were speeding gives an officer a reason to pull you over. It is a valid, legal reason. If the cop smells alcohol (or marijuana) he can investigate to determine if the driver is less safe. He can ask questions, ask that you do field sobriety testing and ask you to take a blood, breath or urine test.
Your DUI charge was not simply because you were speeding, of course, but because you admitted to drinking and stumbled on the field sobriety test. That will certainly make a police officer suspicious of a driver and seek to have the driver take a blood or breath test.
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