Police officers who are out on patrol have a duty to keep the roads safe. One way they do this is by stopping drivers who appear to be impaired. They can conduct a traffic stop if they have reason to believe the driver is intoxicated.
The standard for a traffic stop is the officer having reasonable suspicion. The standard for arresting someone is higher. There must be probable cause to place someone under arrest.
What signs of drunk driving do officers look for?
There are many signs that indicate that someone may be a drunk driver, but some of these could have other causes. Some of the more common signs include:
- Not stopping for red lights or stop signs
- Making turns illegally
- Drifting out of the traffic lane
- Nearly hitting objects on the roadside
- Not using headlights in inclement weather or from dusk to dawn
- Stopping in the middle of the road without cause
When a police officer pulls a vehicle over to determine whether the driver is drunk or not, they will use methods, such as chemical tests or standardized field sobriety tests, to determine if the driver is impaired. They’ll arrest a driver who meets the criteria for being impaired.
Any driver who’s pulled over on the suspicion of drunk driving should ensure that their rights are respected. If you’re charged, your top priority should be getting your defense strategy in order. This must be done quickly because some options might be time sensitive. Be sure that you have someone on your side who’s familiar with these matters so you can do what’s in your best interests.