Have you ever wondered how law enforcement officers know when someone is under the influence just by watching him drive? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, officers look for over 100 visual cues that indicate a driver could be intoxicated. Here are some of the cues that police officers look for when trying to spot drunk drivers:
Unable to Stay in One Lane
People who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol will find it difficult to stay within their lane while driving. Therefore, police officers will be on the lookout for drivers that are weaving in and out of their lane or slowly drifting off to one side before jerking back to the center of the lane.
Fast or Slow Speed
Drunk drivers aren’t always aware of how fast or slow they are traveling. As a result, some drunk drivers go above the speed limit while others stay well below it. If a driver is aware that he is intoxicated, he may intentionally slow down so he doesn’t attract the attention of officers. However, police officers know that they should be looking for both drivers that are going too slow and drivers that are going too fast. Besides looking for drivers that are going too fast or too slow, police officers will look for drivers that are having a hard time maintaining a consistent speed. If a driver is randomly speeding up and slowing down, this is a sign that he is intoxicated.
Police officers are also trained to watch how drivers are using their brakes. An intoxicated driver may stop suddenly in the middle of the road for no apparent reason. Being under the influence makes it difficult to judge distances, so a drunk driver may overestimate how much space he has and stop well before a red light or stop sign. On the other hand, a drunk driver can also underestimate how much space he has, which leads to him slamming on his brakes at the last minute to avoid a collision. All of these behaviors indicate that the driver is under the influence.
Driving in the Dark
Anyone can forget to turn on their headlights, but drunk drivers are far more likely to make this mistake than sober drivers. For this reason, police officers will be watching for cars that are driving without their lights turned on.
Have you been charged with DUI? Get in touch with a criminal defense attorney at Reisch Law Firm today. We will immediately come to your defense, protect your rights, and fight for your freedom. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.