Determining Probable Cause in DWI Cases

Probable cause is a main component in any DWI investigation. Law enforcement officers are required to abide by appropriate protocol when stopping a vehicle, which includes having probable cause for the initial stop.

An officer’s initial observations of a driver’s unusual behavior and suspicious driving actions are not enough to allow an arrest due to probable cause. It is based on factual evidence that would make any reasonable person believe that a crime has been committed, is being committed, or will be committed.

Establishing Probable Cause

In many cases, a police officer determines probable cause to arrest a suspected drunk driver by the following methods:

  • Stopping the vehicle to question the driver
  • Observing the person’s impaired driving behavior
  • Administering a standard field sobriety test (SFST)
  • Administering a preliminary breath test (PBT)

Should a police establish reasonable suspicions and probable cause that you were driving the vehicle while intoxicated, a DUI arrest can occur. Once you are read your implied consent rights and advised of your right to an attorney, the arresting officer will request you to take a breath, blood, or urine test to get an evidentiary chemical sample from you and determine your BAC. Refusing to take a chemical test in Texas results in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license.

If you were recently arrested for a DWI, request a consultation with our Plano DWI lawyer at The Law Offices of Scott Edgett today. More than 1,000 criminal cases successfully handled!

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