Reasonable Suspicion to Pull Over a Vehicle in Ohio

In Ohio, the law is well settled that police officers must have ‘Reasonable Suspicion’ to make a traffic stop or to pull over a vehicle. ‘Reasonable Suspicion’ is a lower threshold than, and is not to be confused with, a legal standard, known as ‘Probable Cause’ – the standard necessary to make an arrest. Ohio courts have frequently held that ‘Reasonable Suspicion’ means that the police officer must be able to point to specific and articulable facts, which reasonably warrant or justify the traffic stop.

Previous Ohio law held that police officers could not conduct traffic stops for de minimus violations, or minor violations, in order to conduct fishing expeditions for more egregious violations. As the law in Ohio stands now, so long as police officers can point to specific and articulable facts, no matter how minor, to justify the traffic stop, ‘Reasonable Suspicion’ will be satisfied.

In effect, this means that OVI / DUI traffic stops may be justified as reasonable if police officers can establish specific and articulable facts related to moving violations and vehicle equipment violations, including but not limited to:

  • Speeding Offenses
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Signals
  • Failure to Maintain Lanes of Travel
  • Weaving
  • Swerving
  • Failure to Use Turn Signals
  • Inoperative Headlight(s)
  • Inoperative Taillight(s)
  • Inoperative License Plate Light
  • License Plate Tag Violations
  • Expired Driver’s License

Defense Attorney Michael Probst has represented many clients arrested and charged with a Columbus OVI / DUI offense and OVI / DUI offenses throughout Ohio who have made challenges that police officers lacked ‘Reasonable Suspicion’ to conduct a traffic stop. Many OVI / DUI traffic stops are recorded and preserved on police officer cruiser video systems. It is extremely important in every case for a DUI attorney to review all evidence, including video evidence of traffic stops, to determine whether police have reasonable suspicion to pull over the vehicle subject of an OVI / DUI traffic stop.

Contact our defense attorney at Probst Law Office, Inc today at 614-232-8890 with questions you may have regarding grounds for being pulled over in Columbus or other areas within Ohio. Let us provide you with the DUI help you need in Ohio.