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DUI Stops in Utah

The first step in the DUI process is the arrest. Under Utah law, a peace officer may arrest a person pursuant to a warrant signed by a neutral and detached magistrate and after demonstration of reasonable cause. Without a warrant, an officer may arrest a motorist when she has probable cause to believe that a DUI has occurred. An officer has probable cause when she has a reasonable belief that a driver has committed a crime. The test is loose and requires 51% or more for a constitutional stop.

Furthermore, an officer also has the right to stop you if she has reasonable belief. Under the Terry stop the officer must ask herself, taking all the circumstances into consideration, “are there specific and articulable facts that give rise to a reasonable suspicion that crime is afoot?” For example, a car constantly switching lanes or stopping and going might create reasonable suspicion that the driver is intoxicated. On the other hand, a car that changes lanes once would be insufficient.

The Terry stop gives the officer the right to briefly stop the vehicle and investigate whether the driver is intoxicated or not. If no intoxication is found, the driver is free to go. If found intoxicated, the officer has probable cause to arrest the individual or ask them to submit to a battery of test.

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