Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Dedicated To Protecting Your Rights
Photo of New York City

What signs of impairment do officers look for? 

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2023 | DWI

Police officers generally need to have a reason to pull a vehicle over. Even if they know that they are looking for drunk drivers, they can’t simply stop random cars and administer breath tests to those drivers. Instead, they need to see a reason to make the traffic stop first, and then they can investigate it if they still believe impairment is an issue.

As such, you may be wondering what signs of impairment the police are going to look for and what reason they will use for the traffic stop. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common signs:

Lack of control

First off, someone who is intoxicated is not going to have nearly as much control over the vehicle. This can cause them to weave within their lane, cross the centerline or have near-miss incidents where they almost cause an accident. They could also be breaking or accelerating erratically, rather than with the smooth level of control you expect from a sober driver.

Breaking traffic laws

Someone who is impaired may also violate traffic laws by running a stop sign or signaling in one direction and then turning in the other direction. Even the smallest traffic violations are enough to give an officer a reason to make that stop.

Unexplainable activities

Finally, the police will just look for ways that a driver may be operating their vehicle in a confusing way that has no other explanation. For instance, maybe they’re driving in the middle of the night without their headlights on. Maybe they are driving on an empty road but still going 10 or 15 miles an hour under the speed limit.

Your defense options

If you have been stopped on accusations of drunk driving and you’re facing serious charges, it’s critical that you know what your defense options are. A DUI can have a major impact on your future.