When officers in South Carolina pull drivers over on suspicion of DUI, sobriety tests may follow. But did you know that they look at more than the test results? When deciding to make an arrest, officers also look at probable causes to arrest someone. Today we will examine these probable causes to find out what they are.
A probable cause to arrest is a subjective sign an officer picks up on that could point to intoxication. On its own, it is not a sign that a driver is drunk. But if these signs are present along with failed sobriety tests, it can point to a DUI infraction.
FieldSobrietyTests.org gives examples of probable causes to arrest. Three of the most common are eye redness, the smell of alcohol and slurred speech. Studies prove that these signs are often present in drunk drivers. Alcohol can cause red eyes. Speech patterns often get disrupted by alcohol. The more intoxicated a person is, the worse the slurring can be. The smell of alcohol often indicates that a driver has imbibed a fermented beverage.
But these signs have other potential causes that are not related to alcohol. For example, allergies and crying result in red eyes. If a person suffers from a neurological disorder, they may have a slur. It is impossible for a police officer to tell if this slur is part of the driver’s normal speech pattern. The smell of alcohol is also not indicative of a driver’s BAC level. This is why these are only supporting factors in an officer’s decision to arrest.