DUI Traffic Stops
DUI Traffic Stops In Washington State
Roger Priest is a DUI & criminal defense attorney in Vancouver WA with extensive courtroom experience in Washington’s complex criminal laws
There are hundreds of traffic infractions on the books. Even an experienced DUI attorney won’t be familiar with all of them. But the officer must be able to point to a specific statute as authority for the stop and explain how the driver violated the statute. Otherwise, an experienced DUI lawyer can potentially get the charge dismissed.
There are generally two types of traffic infractions: bad driving or problems with the car itself. Bad driving examples include speeding, not using your turn signal, and not stopping at stop signs or red lights. Problems with the car itself can include expired registration, broken headlights, cracked windshield, or not properly titling a vehicle after purchase.
So if you drive safely in a car that is properly “street legal” you shouldn’t get pulled over. It doesn’t matter if you have fifty pounds of drugs in the car or have a couple of drinks. Nevertheless, police make mistakes and sometimes they stop a car without lawful authority. This is one situation where a good DUI lawyer can help.Contact Us Now
Reasonable Suspicion of Criminal Activity
Perhaps the most litigated reason for a stop is where the officer pulls a vehicle over because he or she believes the driver is committing or recently has committed a crime. In order to pull a vehicle over under reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, the police must be able to convince a judge that articulable facts caused them to reasonably believe that the vehicle occupants had committed a crime, like DUI. A diligent DUI attorney can sometimes have a judge rule that a police stop was invalid based on a lack of credible, articulable evidence supporting the reason for the DUI stop. Reasons for this can include, unreliable tips from others, false assumptions, unreasonable inferences about the evidence and more. In practice, the art of attacking a DUI stop is extremely complicated and requires hours of dedicated legal research. Such work is often better left to a seasoned criminal defense attorney who already has years of experience in this area.
When an officer first approaches your vehicle, whether under belief that you’ve committed a traffic infraction or whether he believes you may have engaged in criminal activity, the scenario will likely start the same. Most often the officer will ask for your license, registration, and proof of insurance. By law, you must produce these items when pulled over, so it pays to have them handy for the police officer before he or she approaches.
The Officer’s Observations Will Be Key
From the word go, the police officer will pay careful attention to everything going on in your vehicle, not only for his or her own safety, but to gather evidence of any possible crime, like DUI. The officer will try to observe whether you smell of alcohol, slur your speech, have red, glassy, or droopy eyes, fumble for your license and registration, forget to provide him the proper paperwork, try to give him the wrong items (like a credit card), and more. He may also look around to see if there is alcohol or drugs in plain view within the vehicle. Because you have only been stopped for a traffic infraction or because the officer believes you may have committed a DUI based of some other information, you are not under arrest at this point. The officer will try to gather as much information about whether you are impaired by alcohol or drugs as he or she can.
If You Have Been Charged With A DUI In Clark County or Vancouver WA, Time Is Of The Essence!
Call Our Office To Speak With Attorney Roger Priest Immediately.(360) 281-7314
“Have You Been Drinking Tonight?”
If the officer sees any of the normal signs of DUI impairment above, he or she may also ask you if you’ve been drinking or taking any drugs. The officer is asking you to incriminate yourself. First off, don’t lie to the police; it is a crime. However, just because you shouldn’t lie to the police doesn’t mean you have to answer police questions. You, I, and everyone else enjoy the right to remain silent under the Constitution, so the most appropriate answer to this question is, “I want to remain silent and I want to talk to an attorney as soon as possible.” The officer must stop asking you questions at that point. Additionally, your refusal to answer questions cannot be used against you in court. This doesn’t mean the officer will stop the investigation, but the officer won’t be able to rely on you doing his job for him.
“I want to remain silent and I want to talk to an attorney as soon as possible.” – The best answer to police questioning.
This answer beats the alternative. If you say that you haven’t been drinking, but a later breath test shows you have, you will lose credibility with the court and a jury at trial. Rather, simply refusing to answer is perfectly OK. Don’t be concerned that your noncooperation might make the officer angry, because he or she wasn’t going to invite you to Christmas dinner regardless.
What Our Clients Say About Us
Roger handled my case promptly and painlessly. We are from out of state and had spoken with quite a few attorneys in the area before we made the trip. Roger was middle of the road cost-wise (which was truly fair)and was clearly competent, handling the case in one trip over as oppose to the two or even three trip process many of the others were communicating would be the case. I would hire again without a second thought. Thanks again Roger.Shelley W
Excellent responsiveness, considerate and honest. Roger got the job done results were in my favor. Couldn’t be happier, Highly recommend!!Karin Saltz
Roger Priest provided truly exceptional service for a family member of mine. He was an extraordinary value for the level of knowledge and proffessionalism he provided. My loved one got the deal of a lifetime thanks to him. If any of my friends or family are ever in a less than fortunate spot and need legal advice Roger will always be my #1 reccomendation.Taylor Vance
Roger Priest is professional, intelligent and experienced, you can tell by the way he holds himself in court. Out of the 21 lawyers I interviewed and compared on an excel spreadsheet. I put my trust in Roger and he didn\'t let me down.Aaron M
Roger Priest was my Criminal Attorney for a DUI case I had in 2018. Through out the whole process he was in contact and always was reassuring! He gave his honest opinion on rather or not if my case would be worth going to trial, which is hard to come by! Today I left the courtroom a free man to come home to my family with a lot of tension lifted off my shoulders because of how he was articulate and presented my defense. I am very lucky to have him in my corner and to be spared. I will take this experience as a wake up call because these opportunities don\\\'t come too often! Mr. Priest definitely deserves a 5 star rating for his devotion and overall performance.JB
Roger Priest was referred to me by another lawyer (who could not take my case). Out of the 3 lawyers I reached out to Mr. Priest was willing to hear my case and not just try and convince me to take the easy route and plead out. He was informative, honest, and very tactical (in his approach with my case). Mr. Priest not only kept me updated with his plans and what to except he involved me in every aspect I could be in. He was very approachable and kind. I won my case, I wouldn’t have if I had gone with another lawyer. I am very satisfied with having had Roger Priest defend me. I hope to never have to use his services again but definitely would rehire him again (I wish I could hire him as my divorce attorney).Alicia S.
I recently consulted Roger for my first and only legal matter. He explained at length the legal ramifications that i was facing and he listened closely to all my questions and concerns. He was very attentive and empathic towards my situation and did not rush through things. I would highly recommend Roger to anyone I know seeking legal representation.Itzel Keefer
Awards & Honors
Speak With A Lawyer Now.
Free Consultation Available!
We aim to provide unparalleled service, and love to hear back from current and former clients. Check out our business profiles below and feel free to leave a review if you liked working with us. If you ever have questions or concerns about your case or our service, please give us a call. We aim to make sure our clients get the best information and walk away from our legal business with the utmost confidence. No question or concern is too small to call.
I earn my living by earning the trust and respect of my clients. As a prospective client, I hope to show you this first-hand.