Police officers have a duty to keep the roads safe. One thing that this entails is making sure that there aren’t any impaired drivers putting others in danger. Unfortunately, this often means that they will stop vehicles even when the motorist isn’t intoxicated.
There are several things that police officers look for when they’re deciding whether to initiate a traffic stop or not. Some of these are obvious, such as when a person breaks the traffic code by speeding or failing to stop at a red light. They can also stop drivers if they have reasonable suspicion that there is something amiss going on.
What is reasonable suspicion?
When it comes to the possibility of a driver operating their vehicle while drunk, the police officers will look for signs of impairment. If they notice any of these signs, they’ll pull the vehicle over to determine what’s going on. There are many of these, but some of the more common ones include:
- Weaving between lanes
- Making illegal turns
- Driving too slowly
- Braking frequently and without reason
- Failing to obey traffic signs and signals
- Hitting or nearly hitting objects near the road
- Straddling the yellow line
- Driving erratically or aggressively
Once the officer stops you, they will try to determine whether they believe you are impaired or not. If there is probable cause to believe that you are, you’ll be arrested for drunk driving. This usually involves taking a chemical test or field sobriety test. Consulting your attorney at this point is a good idea because you need to learn your options for your defense strategy.