Probable Cause For A DUI Arrest

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If you have been arrested for DUI, you may have many elements that you can use for your defense. Two elements that your defense attorney may try to utilize are probable cause for pulling you over, and probable cause for detainment. The police officer has to follow certain protocol when it comes to pulling someone over for a suspected DUI, and they also must have a legal reason to detain you after they have pulled you over. This article will provide you with an overview on what reasons police officers need to have in order to pull you over and detain you for a possible DUI.

Probable Cause for Pulling You Over

It is important to understand that a police office cannot pull you over just because they suspect you have been drinking. They need to observe you driving erratically or running a red light. If your headlight is out they can pull you over for that, or if you are caught speeding. In fact, the police officer may not even suspect that you have been drinking when they first pull you over. 

Probable Cause to Detain You

Once a police officer has witnessed you committing an infraction that was cause for you to be pulled over, from there they may suspect that you have been drinking. As they approach the window to speak with you, they may begin to suspect they can charge you with more than just the minor vehicle infraction. Some reasons they can detain you are:

  • The smell of alcohol in the car or on your breath 
  • An open container of alcohol in the vehicle
  • Your speech is slurred when you respond to their questions 
  • If you are flush in the face, or if you have bloodshot eyes 
  • Your inability to respond to questions or understand what the officer is asking you

If the officer feels after their observation that they have a justification to ask you to step out of the vehicle for further investigation and detention, they will ask you to do so, and will subject you to a number of field sobriety tests. 

If you feel that the officer that arrested you did not have any probable cause to pull you over, and further did not have any probable cause to detain you, you may have a viable defense. Your attorney would need to make the proper motions with the court in order to suppress any evidence that the officer may have gained illegally. Talk to a professional such as Patricia K Wood Atty in regards to your specific case.