Reasonable Suspicion and Probable Cause
When an officer stops an individual for a suspected DUI offense, their first plan of action is to perform an initial investigation to determine whether the driver is indeed over the legal blood alcohol limit. This usually comes in the form of a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer test. These tests can be administered whether the officer has witnessed any actual driving or not – as long as there exists some reasonable suspicion that a law is being violated.
There are several factors that could constitute reasonable suspicion during a traffic stop:
- Excessive braking
- Driving far below the speed limit
- Erratic driving
- Nearly hitting other drivers, pedestrians, or objects on the roadside
- Drifting between lanes or straddling center line or divider
- Stopping in the middle of the road and holding up traffic
The officer can temporarily detain a driver suspected of DUI during a traffic stop until they can determine if their reasonable suspicion meets the standards for probable cause, wherein further action can be taken. An officer can only make a DUI arrest if he has enough evidence to believe that a crime has most likely been committed. The results from a breathalyzer test or sobriety test can provide conclusive enough proof that the detained driver is probably intoxicated. In Florida especially, which has some of the toughest penalties for DUI offenders in the nation, an arrest can cause serious repercussions, including fines, jail time, license suspension, and the installation of an interlock ignition device on your vehicle.
Are You Facing DUI Charges?
If you are facing drunk driving charges, you may have questions on how to proceed. Experienced legal counsel from the Orlando DUI lawyers at Jaeger, Ali & Blankner will help you to defend your rights and freedoms and avoid serious legal consequences. Don’t hesitate to protect your future – fill out a consultation form for more information on how we can assist you.