Drunk driving accidents are still a major issue across the States, which is why impaired drivers are a top priority for law enforcement. Police officers have a number of powers at their disposal, but these powers are not unchecked.
There are rules that law enforcement must follow both in terms of pulling vehicles over and going on to make an arrest. Reasonable suspicion is the burden of proof required for a traffic stop and probable cause is the burden of proof necessary to make an arrest.
Did the police have enough reason to make an arrest?
The cops pulled you over on the basis that they felt you were speeding and driving erratically. While you can dispute this, their grounds for the stop do amount to reasonable suspicion.
This isn’t enough to arrest you for DUI though, as probable cause has yet to be established. Probable cause would be something that indicates you have been drinking. For instance, there may be open containers of alcohol that are visible through your car window. You may have failed a roadside breathalyzer test or be slurring your words.
Importantly, probable cause doesn’t always have to come from evidence that the police find. It can come from the words that you say. For instance, if you admit that you just came from a bar, then you may have just handed the officers the probable cause they need to make an arrest. This is why your Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent are so important.
DUI charges are very serious and a conviction could impact your life significantly. This is why it’s so important to seek legal guidance as you explore all possible avenues of defense.