Areas of Practice

Reasonable Suspicion DUI Stop

Police Officers Must Have Reasonable Suspicion For DUI Stop

Vehicle stops are subject to Fourth Amendment analysis―reasonableness in all the circumstances.1 A traffic stop [or DUI stop] requires reasonable suspicion that the vehicle or occupant is subject to seizure for a violation of the law.2 An officer may make a valid investigatory stop provided the officer’s decision is based upon specific and articulable facts and reasonable inferences therefrom that warrant the investigative intrusion.3 A mere suspicion or hunch is insufficient.4 The officer must have knowledge of specific, articulable facts which, when combined with the rational inferences from those facts, create a reasonable suspicion that the person in question has committed or is about to commit a crime.5 The reasonableness of vehicle stops is analyzed under the principles set forth in Terry v. Ohio6: a law enforcement officer may briefly detain a person for questioning, based upon specific and articulable facts and reasonable inferences therefrom, if the officer reasonably believes that the person has committed, or is about to commit, a crime. This rule has been codified in 725 ILCS 5/107-14,7 which states:

A peace officer, after having identified himself as a peace officer, may stop any person in a public place for a reasonable period of time when the officer reasonably infers from the circumstances that the person is committing, is about to commit or has committed an offense as defined in Section 102-15 of this Code, and may demand the name and address of the person and an explanation of his actions. Such detention and temporary questioning will be conducted in the vicinity of where the person was stopped.

A DUI defense attorney must always analyze the propriety of the stop, and file a Motion to Suppress based upon an improper stop.


1 People v. Jones, 215 Ill.2d 261 (2005).

2 People v. Rush, 319 Ill.App.3d 34 (2d Dist. 2001). Issues in DUI Search and Seizure

3 Village of Lincolnshire v. DiSpirito, 195 Ill.App.3d 859 (2d Dist. 1990).
4 Rush, 319 Ill.App. 3d at 39.
5 DiSpirito, 195 Ill.App.3d at 863.
6 Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).

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