New York Court Grants Defendant’s Motion in DUI Stop Based on Lack of Probable Cause

Late last month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a New York DUI case requiring the court to determine if the police officer that stopped the defendant possessed probable cause to do so. Ultimately, the court concluded that the police officer did not have probable cause to stop the defendant’s vehicle for a traffic stop after hearing his tires squeal as he pulled away from an intersection. Thus, the court held that the defendant’s motion to suppress should be granted.

The Facts of the Case

A police officer was on patrol around 2:30 in the morning. The area bars had just closed, and there were a number of pedestrians in the area. While waiting at an intersection, the police officer noticed that as the light turned green, the tires on the defendant’s vehicle squealed as he pulled away from an intersection at a quick pace.

The police officer decided to pull over the defendant based on his screeching tires and rate of acceleration. At the officer’s request, the defendant provided his driver’s license and explained that he was on his way home from work. He told the officer that he did not know why he was pulled over, and the officer informed him of the basis for the traffic stop.

The defendant denied having had anything to drink, but when the officer asked if he would agree to take a field sobriety test, the defendant stated, “just arrest me,” explaining that they were not fair. The officer had the defendant perform the test, and at the conclusion of the tests the officer placed the defendant under arrest for DUI. The officer administered a blood-alcohol test on the defendant, and it indicated that he had alcohol in his system.

In a pre-trial motion to suppress, the defendant asked the court to suppress the evidence obtained by the police during the traffic stop based on the fact that the police officer did not have a sufficient reason to initiate the traffic stop. The court agreed, explaining that a police officer must have probable cause to believe that a motorist committed a traffic violation in order to pull that motorist over. Here, the court explained that the defendant’s act of quickly accelerating did not result in probable cause to stop him for a traffic violation. The court explained that the officer had no basis for concluding that the defendant was speeding, or that he put any pedestrian in danger.

Have You Been Arrested for Driving Under the Influence?

If you have recently been arrested and charged with a New York DUI case, you should contact the New York criminal defense attorneys at the law firm of Tilem & Associates. At Tilem & Associates, we zealously represent those who are facing serious New York criminal charges and help them defend their freedom. We handle all types of New York criminal defense cases, including DUI cases. To learn more, call 877-377-8666 to schedule a free consultation today.

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