It’s no surprise that Palm Beach County is one of the fastest-growing counties in Florida. With low unemployment, high wages, and its proximity to pristine beaches, many people can enjoy a high quality of life. The City of West Palm Beach is also on the rise, and it has a lot to offer residents and visitors in terms of activities, sights, and nightlife. As the city grows, so too does its status as a thriving downtown.
With more action to monitor in West Palm Beach, people can expect a heavier police presence, particularly in hotspots like City Place and Clematis Street. If you’re enjoying one of the city’s numerous pubs, restaurants, and bars, and you’re wondering whether a police officer can legally follow you home from a bar, it depends.
If a Police Officer Follows Me from a Bar, is it Entrapment?
No. Entrapment occurs when an officer arrests a person for committing a crime he or she would not have done if the officer hadn’t coerced or encouraged them to do so. An example of this might be if you’re sleeping in your car after drinking and an officer arrives to wake you up. If the officer tells you to go home and you drive off, and then he arrests you for DUI, this could be considered entrapment because you would not have driven off had the officer not ordered you to go home.
Otherwise, police are within their rights to monitor the areas surrounding bars, restaurants, and other establishments that serve alcohol. It’s not illegal for them to follow people home or to stop bar patrons and investigate them for DUI if they observe erratic behavior that indicates impairment. Police who see a person who lacks coordination on their walk to their car or driving erratically after having left an eatery have reasonable suspicion to conduct a DUI investigation.
When Can an Officer Legally Stop My Vehicle?
An officer can stop you if he observes behavior that indicates you’re breaking the law. If an officer sees you do any of the following while driving, he or she may stop you:
- Weaving in and out of lanes
- Driving too fast or slow
- Braking at random points
- Using the wrong turn signal
- Giving other clues that you’re impaired
If, after conducting sobriety tests, the officer determines you’re impaired because of slurred speech, poor balance, delayed reflexes, vomiting, and/or a flushed face, he then has reasonable suspicion to place you under arrest.
What a DUI Defense Lawyer Can Do to Fight Your Charge in West Palm Beach
DUI isn’t a charge you want to take your chances on. Your defense lawyer will begin your case by investigating the circumstances leading up to your arrest to determine whether the officer who stopped and arrested you followed the law.
From there, your lawyer will likely investigate the results of your breath test, if you submitted to one. Breath test results can be highly flawed, so you’ll want to work with an attorney with significant experience learning how breath test machines, like the Intoxilyzer 8000, function and produce results, uncovering their flaws, and fighting to have their results invalidated as evidence.
Contact The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel for Competent DUI Defense
If you’ve recently been charged for DUI in West Palm Beach, you deserve a fair trial. Attorney Brian Gabriel has represented criminally-accused persons for more than 30 years and has a high rate of client satisfaction. Call The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel at (561) 622-5575 for a free consultation or complete our contact form.