Police officers have a duty to keep the roads safe. One way they do this is by trying to ensure that drivers aren’t impaired. There are several ways that they do this, including watching for signs that a driver is impaired. Some drivers don’t realize police officers can initiate a traffic stop based on signs they observe. This is because they only have to meet the standard of reasonable suspicion to pull a vehicle over.
Reasonable suspicion is a much lower standard than probable cause, which is what the cop would need to arrest you. There are several signs that you’re impaired that they might notice, some of which are present even if you aren’t impaired. These include:
- Not saying in your lane
- Braking when it isn’t necessary
- Making illegal turns
- Almost hitting objects on the side of the road
- Driving too slowly
- Making erratic movements
The officer might notice other things that lead them to conduct the stop. Once they have the vehicle pulled over, they will try to determine what’s going on. This can include asking questions, having the person take a chemical test or asking them to do a field sobriety test. If there is evidence that they’re impaired, the officer may arrest the person.
If you’re facing a drunk driving charge, calling the reason for the stop into question might be a valid component for defense. There are other points that you might also raise. Working with an attorney who’s familiar with these matters can help you to learn what options you have so you can develop a defense strategy that you feel is best for your needs.