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Signs of a Drunk Driver: What Police Look For

Posted by Steve Karimi | Feb 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

Ever wonder how a traffic stop turns from a broken tail light to a DUI arrest? Police are trained to be ever vigilant and aware throughout all their patrols. If you have ever known someone who was pulled over for something unrelated and before he realized it, an officer asked him to step out of the car. Next thing he knows, the officer cites him for DUI. Have you ever wondered what led the cop to question the driver about alcohol consumption and a subsequent arrest?

The truth is, the officer collects and notes evidence from the moment he or she witnesses your vehicle. When the police pull you over, he begins observing the driver.

DUI Signs the police Look for at a Traffic Stop

The police use their senses to look for signs you may be intoxicated while driving.

1. Listen. The police officer is listening to your words, focusing on your speech patterns. Are your words slurred? Are you speaking more slowly than normal?

2. Watch. The police officer is paying attention to how you behave as you search for your license, registration, and insurance card. Are you fumbling? Are you dropping items?

3. Look. He or she will observe the drivers' eyes and document any bloodshot or watering.

4. Ask. The police officer will question you about your reason for being out, where you are going, and where you are coming from.

5. Smell. He or she pays attention to scents in the car, like alcohol or marijuana coming through the window.

6. Wait. The police officer waits to hear any evidence that you have consumed any alcohol during the period before the traffic stop.

7. Determine. The police officer figures out if the driver has trouble staying consistent in answering questions.

When an officer senses any of these key points, it signals a possible DUI. The next few minutes of the traffic stop become an opportunity for the officer to continue to gather evidence. It is likely he or she will continue to question and ask you to stand outside of your vehicle. Each action is a chance for the officer to continue to observe your ability or inability to complete small tasks, like standing unassisted, walking, or speaking. Drivers mistakenly think they will be released if they are more cooperative by answering more questions or by revealing truths such as: “I did have a couple of drinks but that was several hours ago.” The information the officer collects is all considered evidence that can, and likely will, be used to support a DUI charge. A few other signs an officer may note before pulling over a driver for DUI include a car that is moving much slower than the speed limit or following another car too closely.

If you have been arrested for DUI, learn your best defense options in your DUI case by scheduling an appointment with the experienced legal team at Karimi Law Office.

About the Author

Steve Karimi

Steve Karimi attended Pepperdine University School of Law. After graduation he worked as a prosecutor in Seattle where he gained valuable insight to the criminal justice system. Attorney Karimi uses his experiences as a prosecutor everyday only now he fights for the justice of those accused.


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