Drunk driving is a serious charge and we all know how destructive the potential consequences can be. That’s why police officers take drunk driving stops so seriously. But, at the same time, there are procedures in place that dictate the very specific ways in which an officer may make a DWI stop and arrest. If these procedures aren’t followed, the arrest could be considered unlawful.

These are the circumstances that typically must be present for an officer to make an arrest for drunk driving:

  • The officer saw the crime being committed with his or her own eyes. If a car is driving erratically, the officer can pull the driver over and, if the Breathalyzer is over the limit, an arrest may be made.
  • If there is probable cause that a crime has occurred, like seeing empty liquor bottles in a car, the arrest may be considered valid.
  • During a legal traffic stop (one in which the officer pulled a car over for justifiable reasons) the officer can ask to administer a field sobriety test if he or she suspects the driver of drinking and driving.
  • If there is an arrest warrant out for the individual.

Even if these criteria are met, there are guidelines for what an officer can and cannot do. If any violations of the protocol occurred, the arrest might be thrown out in court. If you’ve been charged with a DWI, it’s important to remember that you still have rights. An attorney might look into the matter and may be able to help protect your rights.