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What is a probable cause to arrest?

| Nov 1, 2020 | DUI

In Georgia, drivers like you must oblige by the rules of the road. This includes any and all DUI related rules and regulations. One such scenario you may run into involves an officer suspecting you of driving under the influence. How do they decide whether or not to arrest you? 

Officers rely on a litany of tests to make this decision. But they may also rely on something known as a probable cause to arrest. 

Defining a probable cause

FieldSobrietyTests.org examine probable causes to arrest in relation to DUI related crimes. When discussing a probable cause, you must know the definition. A probable cause can include any fact that leads to a reasonable assumption of guilt. In the case of DUI crimes, this involves small clues that lead an officer to assume that you drove intoxicated. 

Physical and behavioral clues

Some clues are physical. They include the smell of alcohol, red eyes and slurred speech. If an officer detects these signs, they may assume that you were drinking. They have a reasonable basis to assume this. Consumption of alcohol often leads to red eyes, slurred speech and the lingering scent of alcohol. 

Other signs are behavioral. For example, many drunk people behave in a belligerent way. It is also harder for a drunk person to follow normal trains of logic. When intoxicated, you may say or do outrageous things that sober people would not. An officer may take this as probable cause to arrest you. 

Know that not all probable causes to arrest turn out legitimate. In these cases, it is possible to contest the basis for the arrest you faced. 

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