to determine if there is probable cause to arrest a motorist for dui, the police officer will question the motorist while looking for factors that could indicate drunkenness.">

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Probable Cause

Posted on:10/31/2011
An officer must have probable cause to arrest a motorist for DUI. Probable case means that the police officer should have reasonable grounds to determine that the motorist is drunk, i.e. driving under the influence. Legally speaking, to prove reasonable cause, there must be a significant probability of guilt.


 

The general test for probable cause is whether a reasonably prudent individual would conclude that the motorist is driving under the influence after reviewing the existing data and the facts of the case together with the information available to the police officer who stopped the motorist.

 

To determine if there is probable cause to arrest a motorist for DUI, the police officer will question the motorist while looking for factors that could indicate drunkenness. Usually the police officer will consider the general demeanor and appearance of the motorists and also for any smell of alcohol. 

If the police officer does not notice anything in the motorist that would indicate that the motorist is drunk, the officer must let him or her go. But if the officer notices signs of intoxication in the motorist, the officer will ask the motorist to undergo a field sobriety test. Remember these tests are optional. You do not have to undergo these tests. You have the legal right to refuse these tests.


  
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