In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that police can pull over a driver for reckless or drunken driving based solely on an anonymous 911 tip without an officer actually witnessing the person’s driving.
Who Exactly Is Considered An Anonymous Tipper?
An anonymous tipper is a person who calls the police to report a crime (e.g. DUI driver), gave no personal information, and was not traceable.
Reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed is required to stop a driver on the road. However, when the police did not witness the alleged crime (e.g. drunk driving), the validity of the stop depends on how reliable the information is and whether the officer can independently corroborate any of the information provided by the anonymous caller. Stops are not valid if the description of the vehicle and the driver is generic (blonde male in a convertible) or vague as to the driving behavior and the officer does not observe impaired driving.
What If The Caller Provides Information?
If a caller provides their name and phone number and the information is sufficiently detailed and specific, the police can typically establish reasonable suspicion for stopping the driver. The reasoning behind this is that the caller presumes to be subjecting themselves to liability for making a false call, so the value of the information given is accorded more weight.
Call Ariano & Reppucci
Like every DUI case, there are many variables to consider. If you are facing DUI charges, it is important that you contact a lawyer who is proficient and experienced. Call Ariano & Reppucci now for a free consultation with one of our experienced DUI attorneys, so we can discuss your chances of having the charges dropped or reduced.