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Your DUI: How an officer can stop and arrest you

If you're stopped and have to take a field sobriety test, you're going to want to consider the ways you can defend yourself if you're found to be intoxicated. There are a few times when the police can pull you over, and it's also important to know when the stop wasn't legal.

For instance, police officers can stop you if they see you commit a crime. For instance, if you're driving in a dangerous manner, the officer may pull you over because of reckless driving. Then, he or she could give you a breathalyzer test to make sure you aren't under the influence of alcohol.

Probable cause is another claim an officer can make if he feels he or she has reason to believe that you have committed or are committing a crime. It means that the officer has a reasonable belief that you are drunk, in the case of a DUI. For example, if you're driving oddly and the officer stops you, he or she could ask for a breath test. If you refuse, he or she could arrest you on probable cause. This works much easier for the police if you have some evidence of drinking in the vehicle; for instance, if you have open beer bottles or cans lying the vehicle.

You may also be stopped for a completely different offense before being arrested for a DUI. Maybe you were speeding and stopped for it, only to be tested because you smell of alcohol. In that case, you would want to have your blood alcohol concentration calculated so you can fight back against the charges. Our website has more on what it takes for an officer to arrest you legally and what to do if you've been arrested for a DUI.

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