Representative Case: Lack of Probable Cause for DWI

Practice Area: DWI

Our Charlotte firm is experienced in handling DWI charges and works tirelessly to help our clients achieve favorable case results. Call us immediately at 704-512-0606 or contact us online as soon as possible if you have been charged with a DWI.

In this case, we were able to get our client’s DWI charge dismissed quickly due to improper hold, lack of evidence of a DWI, and incorrectly filled out paperwork.


Case Note: With a DWI conviction in North Carolina, our client could have faced potential fines of up to $10,000, jail time, license suspension or revocation, treatment or rehabilitation courses, or the installation of an ignition interlock device. 

Definitions For This Case

Probable Cause

What It Is: Probable cause is the standard by which judges evaluate arrests. It refers to the officer’s objective observations during a traffic stop. The smell of alcohol on a person’s breath or their suspicious behavior can be probable cause to arrest the person for DWI.

In This Case: The evidence the officer used to arrest our client for DWI was speeding, red, glassy eyes, and a strong odor of alcohol. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration no longer recognizes “red eyes” as an indicator of impairment because many other things can cause it. This was pointed out to the arresting officer in court and acknowledged by him. 

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

What They Are: Field sobriety tests are part of the examination process an officer uses to determine whether a driver is under the influence. Officers may use two different types of tests – standardized and non-standardized. In North Carolina, non-standardized field sobriety tests generally cannot be used to formulate the officer’s opinion that the motorist is impaired.

Types of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

Types of Non-Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

  • ABC Test
  • Finger-To-Nose Test
  • Numbers Test

In This Case: Our client was only administered non-standardized field sobriety tests by the arresting officer – the ABC Test and the Numbers Test – which our client passed easily.

Knoll Motion

What It Is: In North Carolina, a Knoll Motion refers to a 1984 case of State v. David Knoll, where he blew a .30 BAC but challenged the fact that he had been deprived of his right to have a witness observe his behavior in order to help create a defense for himself. A Knoll Motion is now used when attempting to get a DWI dismissed because the magistrate held you in jail for too long. There have been two known instances of a Knoll Motion being granted in Gaston, NC.

In This Case: We successfully argued that the only reason the magistrate kept our client in jail as long as he did was because of “red eyes,” which constitutes improper hold.