In just one year, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) found that nearly 30,000 individuals were arrested for drunk driving in Missouri. Police officers are constantly on the lookout for drivers under the influence of alcohol and will do whatever they can to put an end to this crime.
Officers can't, however, just pull drivers over willy-nilly simply because they might be intoxicated. An officer first must have a reason for pulling someone over, which is referred to as probable cause. Probable cause means the driver did something that caused the officer to suspect drunk driving.
What are the most common indicators of drunk driving?
The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTA) released a list several years ago with numerous signs of an intoxicated driver. While these signs certainly aren't foolproof, they do give law enforcement a heads-up that there may be a problem.
The NHTA's list included the following indicators:
- Weaving between lanes
- Questionable signaling
- Inappropriate stopping or braking
- Driving without headlights on
- Delayed reaction to traffic signals
- Driving over the center line
- Nearly hitting other vehicles or objects
- Speeding 10 MPH over the posted speed limit
Once the officer has pulled the driver over, they are then trained to look for additional 'red flags' that may point to intoxication. These can include slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, belligerent behavior, and alcohol on the breath.
If you do get pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving, it is important not to panic. Do your best to remain calm and polite, but immediately exercise your right to remain silent. The officer can use your statements against you later on, so staying silent can protect you from further incrimination.
Remember – just because you get arrested does not automatically mean you will be convicted of drunk driving. Don't hesitate to contact the firm's Kansas City DUI lawyer for personal representation if you get arrested. With two decades of experience, you can feel confident in Attorney Steve Schanker.