When considering criminal cases, terms such as “probable cause” are often circulated without considering their true meaning. Law enforcement officers will often initiate vehicle stops based on “reasonable suspicion.” For example, you may have veered over the center line of the road briefly, leading officers to become suspicious.
However, in order to carry out an arrest, probable cause is usually required. Essentially, this means that upon further investigation, law enforcement has solidified their initial suspicions as to your potential criminal activity. Outlined below are three common examples of probable cause in DWI cases.
Continuous or severe traffic violations
While a minor error may lead to reasonable suspicion, traffic violations can also result in probable cause. Typically, behavior such as continuously ignoring stop signs, swerving, driving too fast as well as collisions could all lead to an officer establishing probable cause for a DWI. Importantly, these activities in themselves are enough to convict. However, they could be substantial enough to warrant an arrest.
Failed Breathalyzer tests
Although there are some controversies surrounding breathalyzer tests, they are generally still considered to be an accurate way of determining blood alcohol content. A failed breathalyzer test is likely to amount to probable cause and a potential DWI arrest.
Upon initiating a vehicle stop, law enforcement will typically be observing your behaviors. Often, they will be on the lookout for slurred speech, poor balance and blood shot eyes. Again, while the presence of these behaviors does not signify guilt, it could be enough to result in probable cause for a DWI arrest.
Gaining a further understanding of the law relating to DWI offenses could be in your best interests. If you are facing criminal charges, it is vital to remember that you have legal rights.