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Alcohol on Your Breath and Reasonable Suspicion

Most DWI arrests are made after law enforcement officials notice that a driver is acting in a way that suggests intoxication, such as weaving between lanes. However, this behavior must reach a reasonable level of suspicion before a police officer can pull someone over and make an arrest. In some case, a police officer may use the supposed smell of alcohol on a person’s breath as probable cause to arrest someone or submit them to blood alcohol content tests.

If you believe your rights have been violated in the process of getting charged with driving while intoxicated, you are not alone. To discuss your legal options as a DWI defendant, contact Raleigh DWI attorney Jim Black today by calling 919-600-4609.

Problems with the Smell of Alcohol

A police officer may claim that he or she can smell the alcohol on someone’s breath during questioning. This odor may then be cited as probable cause for a Breathalyzer test or blood sample. However, the scent of alcohol on a person’s breath is not always an accurate indicator of intoxication. The following issues may arise due to accepting the smell of alcohol as probable cause:

  • Alcohol does not always have a noticeable odor
  • Police may smell the ingredients of the drink, not the alcohol itself
  • The same odor can arise from drinking non-alcoholic drinks

If your DWI arrest was made based on the smell of alcohol as probable cause, you may be allowed to then request that all subsequent evidence be discounted from the case.

Contact Us

If you have been arrested for DWI under the grounds of unacceptable probable cause, you may be able to fight back against your charges. For more information regarding your legal options as a defendant facing these allegations, contact Raleigh DWI lawyer Jim Black today at 919-600-4609.


"Jim, I just wanted to thank you again for everything you did for me. I am very happy about the outcome and would recommend you to anyone and everyone who has a DUI case. Two things that stuck out the most is your patience and honesty, you wanted the best for me and that was obvious."

The Law Office of Jim Black

5 West Hargett Street #310
Raleigh, NC 27601

Phone: (919) 600-4609
Fax: (919) 834-4891


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