What is the officer looking for leading up to and during a DUI arrest?
UPDATED: June 13, 2012
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The following is a list of indicators based on a person's driving that police officers use to determine whether or not they think you are driving drunk and if they are going to pull you over for a closer examination. The list is based upon research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Administration:
(1) Turning with a wide radius;
(2) Straddling center of lane marker;
(3) "Appearing to be drunk";
(4) Almost striking object or vehicle;
(6) Driving on other than designated highway;
(8) Speed more than 10 mph below limit;
(9) Stopping without cause in traffic lane;
(10) Following too closely;
(12) Tires on center or lane marker;
(13) Braking erratically;
(14) Driving into opposing or crossing traffic;
(15) Signaling inconsistent with driving actions;
(16) Slow response to traffic signals;
(17) Stopping inappropriately (other than in lane);
(18) Turning abruptly or illegally;
(19) Accelerating or decelerating rapidly;
(20) Headlights off.
Speeding, incidentally, is not a symptom of DUI; in some circumstances it may even suggest quicker reflexes and sobriety.
Symptoms of Intoxication that Suggest Drunk Driving
Once a police officer has taken the steps to pull you over for a closer examination, there are a number of indicators they are trained to look for in deciding whether a driver is intoxicated. The traditional symptoms of intoxication taught at the police academies are:
(1) Flushed face;
(2) Red, watery, glassy and/or bloodshot eyes;
(3) Odor of alcohol on breath;
(4) Slurred speech;
(5) Fumbling with wallet trying to get license;
(6) Failure to comprehend the officer's questions;
(7) Staggering when exiting vehicle;
(8) Swaying/instability on feet;
(9) Leaning on car for support;
(10) Combative, argumentative, jovial or other "inappropriate" attitude;
(11) Soiled, rumpled, disorderly clothing;
(12) Stumbling while walking;
(13) Disorientation as to time and place;
(14) Inability to follow directions.