Can a sheriff arrest a person and charge with DWI and DR, if they did not see the person driving the car?

UPDATED: Dec 16, 2014

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Can a sheriff arrest a person and charge with DWI and DR, if they did not see the person driving the car?

If the sheriff did not who was driving the car but standing by the car at a gas pump and claimed to have a report about the car swirling on the road?

Asked on December 16, 2014 under Criminal Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether there is probably cause to think a person who is intoxicated was driving the car. So if a car is parked or pulled over (or at a gas pump) and there is only one person with the car--i.e. the person with the car is obviously the driver--and that driver is drunk or impaired and the car is someplace other than the owner's home, so that the drunk or impaired person must have driven it this case, the officer could certainly arrest.

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