Probable Cause in a DUI Investigation: How is it determined?

Probable Cause in a DUI Investigation: How is it determined?Imagine you are about to make your way home from your favorite hang out after an evening of visiting with some friends. You have 3 or 4 drinks over the span of an hour or so and feel slightly buzzed, but decide to drive home instead of calling a sober friend or taking an expensive taxi. To avoid smelling like alcohol, you spray some cologne, pop a piece of gum in your mouth and begin to drive away—but if you think that eliminating the smell of alcohol eliminates an officer’s probable cause to conduct a DUI investigation—think again.

Even without the strong or obvious smell of alcohol emanating from your vehicle, an officer may garner probable cause from an array of other circumstances. For instance, if you are exhibiting other signs of intoxication such as blood shot eyes, slurred words, difficulty following conversation, or any combination of these or other red flags, an officer may be able to establish probable cause for a DUI investigation based on “the totality of the circumstances”. In other words, all an officer needs to run a valid DUI investigation is the sufficient exigent evidence to establish reasonable grounds for it.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee, or Sarasota County, call the Law Office of Ameen and Shafii at 813-436-4357 for your free DUI consultation. Andrew Shafii, Esq., and Mustafa Ameen, Esq., are experienced DUI attorneys and former prosecutors who can answer any questions you may have about your rights as well as possible defenses you may have to your charge.

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