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Denver Criminal Defense Attorney Discusses How Police Spot Drunk Drivers

November 9, 2016

Have you ever wondered how law enforcement officers are able to spot a drunk driver on the road? An officer can’t tell if someone is drunk just by watching them drive by, but they can have their suspicions. According to Denver criminal defense attorney John Buckley, here is what officers look for when they’re trying to catch drunk drivers:
When you’re under the influence of alcohol, it’s difficult to keep the car moving without swerving a little bit from side to side. Officers often look for drivers who are having trouble staying within their lane, as this is an obvious sign of some kind of impairment. In some cases, the driver will swerve so far into the next lane that he strikes another vehicle without realizing it, and keeps on driving.  
Driving too slowly.
Although you may think police officers look for cars that are speeding by in order to spot a drunk driver, the opposite is actually true. People who are aware they are driving under the influence tend to drive about 10 mph below the speed limit as an extra precaution. They may think this will protect them from being pulled over by a cop, but in reality, it will just draw more attention to them.
Forgetting to use lights.
Turning signals and headlights are used to keep the roads safer by alerting other drivers of your presence and your intentions to switch lanes or make a turn. However, drunk drivers often forget to use their turn signals or switch on their lights when they get in the car because of their intoxication. If you’re driving without your headlights turned on or forgetting to use your turn signals when you switch lanes, you better believe a police officer will pull you over to see if you’re intoxicated.
Poor judgment of distance.
Under the influence of alcohol, it’s much harder to determine when you should apply brakes in order to stop for a red light or stop sign. It’s also difficult to tell when you should start turning the steering wheel to make a turn without hitting the curb or other cars on the street. Therefore, cops will be looking to see if any drivers are misjudging distances. For example, if you stop your vehicle way before a red light or take an incredibly wide turn, this will signal to police officers that you might be under the influence.
This is just a short list of things a police officer will look for when trying to spot a drunk driver. If a police officer does pull you over and suspects you are driving under the influence, it’s important you learn how to protect your rights during a DUI traffic stop.
Have you been charged with a DUI? The Law Office of John Buckley can assist you with every aspect of your legal case. We work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure our clients receive the best representation possible. Contact John L. Buckley today to schedule a legal consultation.