What is a probable cause to arrest?

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2020 | Firm News |

In Texas, officers on DUI patrols often have a lot of personal say in who does or does not get arrested. For example, an officer can issue a field sobriety test. Based on test results, they determine if they have enough for a probable cause to arrest. Today, we will look at what that is and what it means for you. 

FieldSobrietyTests.org talks about probable causes to arrest. These are reasons that someone may be under the influence. But there is no substantial proof. Instead, it relies on the officer’s judgment. It also relies on how they read signs that may point to intoxication. 

What are these details? Red eyes, slurred speech and the smell of alcohol are three common ones. An officer pays attention to these things when administering a field sobriety test. Many studies have shown that people with high blood alcohol content (BAC) levels have red eyes. Slurred speech is also common. Other changes in speech patterns may also be present. They tend to get more pronounced the more intoxicated a person is. Finally, officers check for the smell of alcohol on a subject’s breath. This is often a good indicator that they recently consumed alcohol. 

But these signs all have other potential explanations as well. For example, individuals with allergies or fatigue often have red eyes. Dry-eye also causes this. Slurred speech is a side-effect of many neurological disorders. It is even a nervous tic that may surface when dealing with officers. Studies have also shown that officers cannot tell BAC from the smell of alcohol alone. In other words, these subjective signs are not always right.