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Probable Cause for Drunk Driving Defined in Los Angeles

There are two words that let allow police to pull you over for driving under the influence or any traffic stop: probable cause. Probable cause is the reasonable belief that an individual has committed a crime. Police use a combination of circumstances and facts to determine whether there is probable cause or even reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop. According to California DUI law, police need probable cause to investigate or arrest for DUI.

What if an officer determines there is “evidence” of DUI after stopping you on suspicion for a different traffic violation?

When this happens, an officer can legally conduct a DUI investigation. If the officer discovers there is enough evidence, he or she can arrest you. For instance, you were slurring your words or saying you had a couple of alcoholic beverages. However, police must have probable cause to initially stop you and make a legitimate traffic stop.

For instance, an officer may notice a vehicle weaving in and out of lanes. He or she may believe there is probable cause or reasonable suspicion to stop you. The officer may later determine that this is probable cause for a drunk driving stop.

DUI Investigations and Probable Cause

Police must have the probable cause necessary to conduct a driving under the influence investigation. The legal term “investigation” refers to the police determining whether you are drunk. To determine whether you are over the legal limit to drive, an officer may use:

  • Breath testing.
  • Field sobriety tests.
  • Questions related to drinking and driving.

Once the officer pulls you over for a probable cause, he or she will need more evidence to arrest you for DUI. In other words, he or she will need additional probable cause for a DUI arrest like:

  • Bloodshot watery eyes.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Having an open alcoholic beverage in your vehicle.
  • The smell of alcohol in your vehicle or on your breath.
  • The Second Part of a DUI Investigation

One or more of the types of evidence above will justify an officer probable cause to conduct further DUI investigation. The next part of the investigation may include one or more of the following:

  • Breath testing.
  • Questioning.
  • Field sobriety testing.

Last Part of the DUI Investigation

Any evidence gathered during this part of the investigation may give further evidence of a DUI arrest. However, an officer will gather more evidence prior to making a DUI arrest that generally includes:

  • Refusing to cooperate with police.
  • Failing a field sobriety test.
  • Failing a breath test.
  • Admitting that you were drinking.
  • Admitting that you were drunk.

After a DUI Arrest

If you were arrested for DUI, you need a a solid defense lawyer on your side. Our legal team at the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin has the skills and experience to help you in your efforts to avoid or mitigate the penalties of a DUI conviction. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

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Contact Information

Jonathan Franklin DUI Attorney
6777 Hollywood Blvd Ste 508
Los Angeles, CA 90028