Question: I think I got pulled over for DUI because of the bumper stickers on my car. The cop in Woodstock said he stopped me for failure to maintain lane but I think it was because of the stickers on the car. I think I was driving without any issue but it was late at night and the cop saw my car with the stickers and he got suspicions.
The bumper stickers were just some funny ones that mentioned alcohol and pot. I put them on my car only because they are funny and I thought other drivers would get a laugh from them. Sometimes people tell me the booze and weed stickers are pretty hilarious. I actually hear that a lot.
I don't think it's right that a cop pulled me over just because I have bumper stickers that mention marijuana and drinking. I really don't drink a ton or smoke a lot, but I admit that I do drink and I have smoked pot, but I don't do it a lot.
The Woodstock police officer didn't say that was why he pulled me over but he asked me if I had been drinking and he said he could smell pot, even though I hadn't smoked for several hours and after I smoke I also chew gum and drink mouthwash. And he only found a piece of a joint in my car.
I want to talk about what I should do about this DUI and the pot possession charge and I just don't think it's right that the Woodstock cop jumped to conclusions because of my bumper stickers.
L.D. in Woodstock, GA
Answer: Bumper stickers are very popular because they let drivers express their thoughts to others. Sometimes those thoughts can be on serious topics like politics, religion, and various public policy issues, or they can be humorous thoughts on many areas of life.
Of course, because drinking and smoking pot are done by many people, there are many bumper stickers dedicated to those topics. Unfortunately, other drivers on the road, including police officers, can make certain assumptions after reading the bumper stickers. Motorists may assume that that the driver enjoys drinking and/or smoking marijuana. Cops may then pay more attention to the driver and may want to pull over the driver for even a very minor traffic infraction. That may have happened to you.
A police officer, however, can't stop a vehicle simply because of a bumper sticker. The officer has to observe a breach of the law, something like speeding or failure to maintain lane.
In your case, we would need to review the police report and watch the video of the stop of your arrest. After doing that we can advise you on all of your options.
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