Police received a call that a woman was driving under the influence of alcohol, located the vehicle and arrested the driver for DUI. Most DUI investigations occur after police claim to see a driver violate some traffic law such as speeding, swerving outside the lane or running a red light. The police officer stops the vehicle and claims to observe signs of alcohol use and impairment such as an odor of alcohol, bloodshot and watery eyes and slurred speech. Occasionally, police officers set up roadblocks or checkpoints where vehicles are stopped at certain intervals and the drivers are checked for possible DUI, driving with a suspended license or an outstanding warrant.
Less often, the police will get a call from a witness, perhaps another driver on the road, who reports that a driver is driving erratically and may be DUI. We have never heard of a situation where the call to police actually comes from someone in the same vehicle as the suspected DUI driver, and it is the driver’s daughter, no less, as the article indicates.
When the police get a call from an anonymous caller that someone is committing a crime, whether it is a DUI, sale of drugs or any other crime, the police cannot just pull the car over or detain the person on the street when they find him/her. The police officer must identify the suspect and observe something concrete which supports the claim that the person is engaging in criminal activity. In the case of an anonymous DUI call, the police officer would have to at least observe some swerving or other traffic violation. When the call comes from an identified source and provides specific information about criminal activity, the police have more authority to make a stop based solely on the caller’s information. In this case, if the daughter of the suspected DUI driver is calling and she is in the car, it is likely that the police had a legal right to stop the woman and initiate a DUI investigation.