Police officers will be watching the roads closely throughout the holiday season. They want to ensure that they don’t allow impaired drivers on the roads, but this could mean that they pull over people who haven’t been drinking.
Police officers need to have reasonable suspicion that there’s something illegal going on if they’re going to initiate a traffic stop. There are certain things that they might notice that makes them think this, but their reason for stopping you must be something that a reasonable person agrees would require a traffic stop.
What signs are officers watching for?
Several signs of drunk driving may lead to a traffic stop. This includes vehicles that are seen:
- Without headlights when lights are required
- Swerving between traffic lanes
- Going against the flow of traffic
- Stopping without cause
- Speeding or moving too slowly for current conditions
- Nearly hitting things by the road
- Failing to obey traffic signals and signs
Once they stop a vehicle, they’ll try to determine what’s going on. This usually involves talking to the driver. If they still think the driver is impaired, they may ask for a field sobriety test or a chemical test. Ultimately, they may arrest the driver if there’s probable cause indicating impairment.
There’s almost nothing worse than ending the night being accused of drunk driving. If you find yourself in this position, be sure you’re doing what you can to protect your rights. Make sure you start working on your defense quickly because there might be some limited time options at the start of the case. Working with someone familiar with these cases can help to reduce the chance that you’ll miss something vital for your defense.