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What Are Police Indicators for Making a DUI Arrest?

Posted on : January 21, 2021, By:  J Brian Kelley

Police may only make a DUI arrest if they have good reason to believe you are under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating substance. The potential indicators for determining whether or not you are inebriated include: 

Your Observable Driving Behavior  

Police officers must have a valid reason for stopping your car; without probable cause the stop may not be legal. Often, this is a simple traffic violation that could have been avoided. 

In other cases, drivers are stopped for weaving in and out of traffic, driving recklessly, repeatedly drifting into the other lane or onto the shoulder, and other indicators that they may be intoxicated. 

How Your Vehicle Looks and Smells 

When a law enforcement officer stops you, they are legally allowed to “search” for evidence that is readily available. For example, if you have an open container of alcohol laying out on your back seat, this is considered probable cause to perform a search of your vehicle. The officer will also be checking for smells linked to drugs and/or alcohol. 

If You Appear to Be Inebriated 

The first impression you give to the police officer is a critical piece of evidence in the prosecutor’s case against you if you’re charged with a DUI. If the officer observed you slurring your speech or moving in an unbalanced, uncoordinated way, they may say that you appeared inebriated, even if you were simply tired and not under the influence of any illegal substances. 

If Your BAC Is Too High 

If a police officer asks you to submit to a breathalyzer test to check your blood alcohol content, also called your BAC, and it’s over the legal limit, the officer will likely make an immediate DUI arrest. However, chemical testing is not required for an officer to take you into police custody on the suspicion of driving under the influence. 

If You Perform Poorly on Field Sobriety Checks  

If you submit to roadside sobriety testing and perform poorly, this can be used as evidence to take you into custody. You can legally decline field sobriety tests without penalty and likely should — the results are rarely accurate. 

Act Quickly If You Or a Loved One Were Arrested for a DUI 

You should act as soon as possible after you or a family member were charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Contact J. Brian Kelley today for your consultation at (662) 324-3476.

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