The Fourth Amendment grants citizens the right against illegal search and seizure. How this practically applies to stops by police has given rise to a gamut of legal argumentation, and resulted in a benchmark decision that affects drivers who are pulled over for weaving as evidence of DUI.
People v. Perez (1985) established a precedent for matters pertaining to weaving within lanes. Police had followed Mr. Perez for ¾ mile as he weaved as much as two feet in either direction, but remaining within his lane. This led officers to suspect that the driver was under the influence, and Perez was pulled over and subsequently arrested. On appeal it was argued that Perez was unduly searched. While his conviction was upheld, a standard for weaving as probable cause resulted from the case.
Key to the Perez case were the distance over which he was observed by law enforcement and the degree to which he was weaving within the lane. Courts have since generally held that a stop for weaving is permissible only when a substantial distance of observation occurs, and when other traffic is affected.
For a driver who happens to weave a bit in traffic, this finding is important because it offers protection under the illegal search and seizure provision of the Constitution. Often weaving is the result of another issue, such as wheel alignment or a tired driver. Absent substantial weaving over a distance, the officer does not have grounds for a DUI stop. Of course, what constitutes “substantial” distance and weaving can be a matter of interpretation. All the more reason for you to hire a Los Angeles DUI attorney.
If you have been charged with a DUI, the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are available to assist you. With over 30 years of experience in handling DUI issues, we have a proven track record. Call today at 888-749-0034 for a consultation.
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At Wallin & Klarich, we approach every case with the belief that the person we're defending could easily be one of our own family members. We've seen firsthand how stressful legal matters can be for our clients and their loved ones. We are committed to being available to our clients at all times -- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you or someone you love is facing drunk driving charges in Southern California, you should call Wallin & Klarich today for a free evaluation of your case. Call 1-888-764-2615 or fill out our online consultation form to get in contact with a legal professional today. We will be there when you call.