With so many drivers on the road, even late at night, what do officers look for to identify potential impaired drivers?  First of all, some officers will patrol in areas where there are many places that sell alcoholic beverages.  Therefore, they know that there is a high probability that drivers in the area have consumed alcohol.  Even if a driver is nowhere near a bar or restaurant, there are several distinctive cues that a driver may be impaired.

When an officer sees a vehicle stopped at a green light for an extended period of time, this is often a good indication that the driver may be impaired.  However, it could also be an indication that the driver is just sleepy.  An additional clue that the officer may pick up on is driving substantially below the speed limit for no obvious reason.  This is a common problem for many drivers that are impaired.  Interestingly, speeding is not considered a cue that the driver is impaired by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Of course, officers will look to see if a person is swerving or weaving all over the road.  While there are other indicators of potential impairment, the last we are going to mention here is failure to turn on headlights at night.

Once an officer has stopped for a driver, there are several potential indicators that the person is impaired.  The officer will look for red, watery eyes, listen for slurred or incoherent speech, and smell for alcohol on the breath of the driver.  He or she will also be on the lookout for poor motor skills, inability to locate a license or other documents, and any other behavior that is out of the ordinary.  Officers experienced in DWI investigations will pick up all of these behaviors instinctually.

If you have been pulled over for DWI, our office would be glad to help you with your case.  Give a call and we would be glad to meet with you. (704) 334-7897.