DUI Offenses – What do Police Officers Look For?

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DUI Offenses – What Do Police Officers Look For

Law enforcement officers take DUI offenses seriously in New Jersey. As is the case with many other crimes, police undergo training to identify signs that a motorist is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There are more than 100 visual cues that indicate whether a driver has been using illegal substances before driving. Spotting these dangerous drivers on the road has the potential to save lives and reduce DUI offenses across the board. The best approach to avoiding a DUI is by abstaining from alcohol when you know you will be driving. If you are curious as to how officers determine motorists are driving drunk, learn more about the cues they look for while patrolling the streets.


Improper Lane Usage/Weaving

One of the most notable indicators of drunk driving is weaving between traffic and failure to stay within the lane. Being under the influence of alcohol makes it difficult to maintain a vehicle on a steady course, and also lowers one’s awareness when they are in the wrong lane, or when changing lanes is safe and proper to do so.

Some of the common actions that raise cause for concern that a driver may be under the influence of alcohol include:

  • Veering into a lane when it’s not safe to do so;
  • Demonstrating a lack of awareness for other vehicles;
  • Failing to maintain a steady course in the center of a lane;
  • Swerving or making sharp turns;
  • Weaving in and out of lanes and other vehicles.

If a policemen were to witness you driving in such a manner, he or she will more than likely need to pull you over for further investigation. To avoid swerving and driving over the lane lines, keep control of the wheel by holding it at the 10’oclock and 2’oclock hand positions.

Lack of Awareness for Other Road Users/Traffic Signs

Being aware of what other road users are doing and paying attention to traffic signs is key to making the roads a safe place for everyone. Seeing a driver lacking awareness for their surroundings is grounds to suspect a DUI.

You may be demonstrating a lack of awareness by:

  • Ignoring or not seeing stop signs and other traffic control signals;
  • Pulling out on other vehicles and forcing others to avoid a collision;
  • Driving in the wrong direction;
  • Driving either far too slow or too fast for the speed limit;
  • Using the wrong turn signals when turning.

Demonstrating poor lack of awareness for others on the road also indicates reckless abandon and the inability to protect oneself. You are a potential to threat to yourself and others when you do not acknowledge other drivers and signs.

Erratic Breaking and Accelerating

Being under the influence of alcohol compromises a person’s ability to judge speed and distance, and lowers reaction time. All of which can cause some visible signs that the person behind the wheel might be DUI.

Some of the common indicators that can raise a police officer’s suspicion of drunk driving include:

  • Braking harshly when coming to a stop or for no apparent reason;
  • Speeding up erratically;
  • Fluctuating in speed for no reason;
  • Driving outside of the legal speed limit;
  • Stopping at odd angles or demonstrating difficulty controlling the vehicle.

Breaking erratically is another way to potentially cause harm to others sharing the road. Depending on the weather and reaction times of others around, braking without cause can create a multiple-vehicle accident.

Improper Use of a Vehicle

While the driver may be able to control his or her vehicle and drive within the correct speed limits, other signs may raise suspicion of a DUI.

Some of the common actions that raise cause for concern that a driver may be under the influence of alcohol include:

  • Not using the correct turning signals;
  • Operating a vehicle at night without turning the headlights on;
  • Traveling with windshield wipers on in dry conditions;
  • Driving with a flat tire;

Something as passive as not using turn signals may not be a cause for concern to an onlooking law enforcement officer. However, something as odd as using the wipers unnecessarily serves as a significant sign of suspicious behavior.

Signs of a DUI After Being Pulled Over

After pulling a driver over on suspicion of a DUI, some of the common signs a police officer will look at to confirm their suspicions include:

  • Difficulty in answering basic questions or giving incorrect/evasive answers;
  • Smelling alcohol on the driver;
  • Seeing alcoholic beverages open in the vehicle;
  • Slurred or incoherent speech;
  • Compromised hand-eye coordination and mobility.

Speak to a DUI Offense Lawyer Today

Are you dealing with a DUI and in need of a lawyer who can defend you in New Jersey? The legal team at the Law Offices of Douglas Herring are ready to hear the details of your case. Call (609) 201-0155 for a free consultation today. Specializing in Criminal Defense and DWI offense, Douglas Herrings has over 15 years of experience as an attorney. Reach out to see how our firm can serve you.

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