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Can I Be Arrested for a Los Angeles DUI like Lamar Odom even if There Were no Drugs or Alcohol Found in my Vehicle?

On August 29, 2013 former Laker player and husband of Khloe Kardashian, Lamar Odom, was pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Mr. Odom was stopped by officers for going too slow on the San Fernando freeway and driving in a “serpentine manner”.

Officers stated that they smelled alcohol on Mr. Odom’s breath and based on their observations arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. They further state that no alcohol or drugs were found in his vehicle.

For officers to pull a driver over they must first have reasonable cause. Reasonable cause arises from a general traffic violation, or from a welfare stop. A general traffic violation would be failing to stop at a red light, speeding, or in Mr. Odom’s case, driving too slow and weaving. Officer may also get probable cause from a welfare stop. A welfare stop is when the person is pulled over at the side of the road or highway, and officers stop to check is everything is alright or if the driver needs help.
In the former Laker player’s case, it seems that officers had sufficient reason to pull him over and stop him while he was driving.

Furthermore, officer’s may not ask the driver to submit to a alcohol screening test, or arrest the driver on suspicion of a DUI without reasonable suspicion. Officer must have a reasonable suspicion that thesdriver is intoxicated before they ask them to step out of the vehicle and take a breath test. Most often the officers will simply ask the driver if they have been drinking and the driver will generally admit if they have been or not. This admission is enough for the officer to request that the driver submit to a test. However, if there is no admission, the officer may still obtain reasonable cause through their observations. These observations may include slurred speech, red and watery eyes, and the smell of alcohol on their breath or on the person, among other things.

In Mr. Odom’s case, it seems that officers observed the alcoholic presence on the driver’s breath and based on their observations asked him to submit to a breath test. If the request is based on an officer’s observations, it is more of a gray area than an admission. There is room for negotiation and argument in Court before the criminal judge.

Whether you are a celebrity or not, the consequences of a DUI can be serious. If you find yourself facing charges, it is important to know that you are not guilty of any criminal charge until you have been tried by the Criminal Judicial system. Seek the help and advice of a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney right away for the best possible outcome in your DUI case.