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What is a probable cause to arrest?

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

What happens when Illinois law enforcement suspects you of DUI? They look at many different factors. They do not rely on your field sobriety test results alone. The signs that they keep an eye out for are more subjective. But when combined with a high blood alcohol content (BAC) level, officers can use it to make arrests.

FieldSobrietyTests.org look into probable causes for arrest. When it comes to DUI-related situations in particular, there are three main signs officers look for. These signs include red eyes, slurred speech and the smell of alcohol.

Studies show that many individuals exhibit slurred speech and red eyes when drunk. The intensity of these symptoms sometimes relates to the amount of alcohol consumed. In other words, a person who has a higher BAC level may have redder eyes and more slurred speech. The smell of alcohol is also difficult to get rid of. Many DUI drivers still have the scent of it on their breath or clothing.

You should note that these signs all have potential alternate causes, though. For example, people with allergies often have red eyes. Dry air, exhaustion and crying also cause red eyes. Slurred speech may seem like a give-away. But an officer cannot tell if someone is exhibiting signs of intoxication by that alone. Slurred speech may be a pre-existing speech condition. And no one can tell how high a person’s BAC level is by the smell of alcohol. Though it may be present on a person’s breath, officers cannot use it to tell if someone is over the legal limit.