While we see them stop vehicles all the time, Police officers cannot pull you over for a DUI without proper legal cause. There must be a valid and lawful reason for the stop. This valid reason is legally referred to as reasonable suspicion of a DUI. These are the 20 most common “driving symptoms” exhibited by drunk drivers that the police use as a reason for stopping a vehicle.
1- Negotiating a wide right turn
The law requires that you make a wide turn as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway. However, most drivers usually turn into other lanes. A person may even do so right in front of a police officer during the day and not get pulled over. However, doing the same thing at night may result in a police officer pulling you over as they are typically on the lookout for drunk drivers at night.
2- Straddling along the central marker between the lanes
Police officers believe that an unimpaired driver who is not distracted should try to keep themselves directly in the center of driving lanes. Thus, if you were straddling the marker between lanes, a traffic police officer may pull you over for DUI.
3- Appearing to be drunk
If a driver exhibits behaviors that make them appear drunk, such as having slurred speech, they may be arrested on suspicion of DUI.
4- Near misses or hitting either another vehicle or an object
A driver who hits another car either by rear-ending or side-swiping will likely be pulled over for suspicion of DUI.
5- Weaving between lanes
A driver’s failure to maintain a lane is usually a red flag for police officers to pull such a person over for DUI. NHTSA defines weaving as when a vehicle moves alternately between one side of the roadway and the other, creating a zigzag course.
6- Driving off of designated highway
When a driver drives off of designated highways or goes off the road, police officers flag them as suspected DUI.
7- Swerving within the lane lines
NHTSA defines swerving as an abrupt turn away from a generally straight course. For example, it might occur when a driver discovers traffic approaching from the oncoming lane or that their vehicle is going off the road.
8- Speeding over 10 mph above the designated speed limit
Police typically use radar and pacing to discover how fast a driver is going. So, if you were going over 10mph above the specified speed limit, they will pull you over for reasonable suspicion of DUI.
9- Questionable stops in traffic lanes
Stopping in the middle of the road for no apparent reason is a red flag for police officers to pull you over for reasonable suspicion of DUI.
Law enforcement believes that a driver will not drive too closely to the vehicle in front unless impaired or excessively aggressive. Thus, tailgating provides reasonable suspicion of DUI.
Drifting from one lane to the other can provide reasonable suspicion of DUI.
12- Driving over center marker between lanes
Erratic driving, such as driving over center markers between lanes, is grounds for a pullover on suspicion of DUI.
13- Excessive braking
Braking excessively can signal to police officers that the driver is impaired and insecure at the wheel.
14- Driving against traffic
Law enforcement officers believe that a driver will not drive against traffic unless their decision-making was impaired.
15- Questionable signaling
An impaired driver will most likely signal that they are going one way while moving in another direction.
16- Delayed reaction to traffic signals
One of the effects of driving under the influence is that a driver will experience delayed reaction times. So, if a police officer sees a vehicle responding to traffic signals slower than expected, they will pull the driver over.
17- Inappropriate stopping or slowing
This falls into the same category as stopping on the road for no apparent reason. If a driver does this, they will be pulled over justifiably.
18- Illegal or unwarranted turns
Making illegal or unwarranted turns can provide reasonable suspicion of driving under the influence.
19- Accelerating or slowing down quickly
Erratic driving, such as accelerating quickly or slowing down quickly, will result in a driver getting pulled over for DUI.
20- Driving without headlights on
In brightly lit areas, it is common to see drivers driving without their headlights on. However, driving in areas that are not well-lit with headlights off is a solid indicator to law enforcement officers that the driver is driving under the influence.
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A skilled attorney defending you in a traffic pullover on suspected DUI can be the difference between a maximum penalty and potential acquittal. Attorney Jacqueline Williams is a skilled attorney. Reach out to her and get the legal help you deserve.