If a police officer suspects someone is driving while intoxicated, he cannot pull that driver over based on that suspicion alone. He must have probable cause to stop the driver for further investigation. Once the officer has the ability to further investigate and has reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed, he can briefly detail that individual for a limited investigation. It is then that the officer may carry out a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer test, subsequently charging the driver with DWI.
Probable cause is one of the biggest components in a DWI investigation. Appropriate protocol must be followed when stopping a vehicle. If it is found that the driver of the vehicle was intoxicated while driving, his case could be dismissed if his Minneapolis DWI attorney finds there was not probable cause to pull the driver over to begin with.
Probable cause that a driver is under the influence can be established by the following:
- Illegal turn
- Straddling the center line
- Drifting in and out of lanes
- Erratic or extremely slow driving
- Not obeying traffic control devices
- Frequent braking
An officer may believe that a driver is impaired by a few other observances as well. The officer could simply note a burned-out brake light and decide to pull a motorist over to investigate further.
If you have been arrested for DWI, contact us today. We can determine if the police officer did, in fact, have probable cause to pull you over, and help defend your case.