Mobile County Criminal Law Attorney

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Behaviors that Police use as Proof of Drunken Driving

Alabama is home to thousands of miles of roads, with drivers of all experience levels. A serious issue that has plagued the roads of Alabama for years and will continue to do so is that of drunk driving. Law enforcement officers are out in droves trying to curb this issue with DUI checkpoints and other enforcement activities.

The officers who are detailed to traffic patrol or checkpoints have specialized training to help them spot possible drunk drivers in Mobile. What are some of the behaviors that police officers use as proof of drunken driving? We will explore those behaviors in today’s post.

Trouble with Speed and Braking

Drivers who have had too much to drink will find themselves struggling to brake when necessary and to keep their vehicle operating at a steady speed or within the posted speed limit. When a driver is impaired, he or she will also struggle to keep their vehicle at a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them. When taking a look at speed and braking, the police will look for the following behaviors of possible impaired drivers:

  • Stopping a vehicle too far away from a curb
  • Stopping the vehicle at an odd angle
  • Making quick, jerky, or short stops
  • Operating the vehicle at a speed that is 10 MPH less than the posted speed limit
  • Stopping well before or after a marked line (crosswalk)
  • Not being able to keep a consistent speed
  • Suddenly speeding up or slowing down for no reason

Trouble Staying in the Lines

Another common issue that impaired drivers have is staying within the painted lines of the road. This includes keeping their vehicle out of the marked shoulder, staying within the lines of the travel lane, and even stopping prior to the stop line at an intersection. Police officers look for the following behaviors to spot an impaired driver:

  • Hitting objects or other vehicles in adjacent lanes or on the shoulder
  • Weaving between lanes of traffic or in and out of other vehicles
  • Swerving, making unnecessarily wide turns, making abrupt turns and drifting outside of the turning radius
  • Drifting the vehicle towards an adjacent travel lane or the shoulder
  • Straddling the middle line or shoulder line

Inability to Make Judgement Calls

Another problem drunk drivers have when behind the wheel while impaired is making judgment calls. A driver’s ability to judge distance, speed, space, the weather conditions, timing and road conditions will be immensely impacted. Police officers will monitor the following when trying to spot drunk drivers:

  • Driving off of the road
  • Tailgating
  • Driving in the wrong lane
  • Falling asleep at the wheel
  • Making an illegal turn
  • Making an unsafe lane change
  • Driving erratically
  • Falling to one side or the other
  • Slumping behind the wheel

Trouble with Driving Conditions

The driving conditions will also be hard to examine for a driver who has had too much to drink. Drivers will struggle with reading traffic signs, traffic signals, merges, how other vehicles are moving and much more. Officers will be looking for the following items when trying to spot drunk driving in Alabama:

  • Taking too long to respond to a green light
  • Stopping too fast, stopping too slowly, or not stopping at all
  • Making a turn while using the wrong turn signal
  • Driving on the wrong side of the street
  • Driving in the wrong direction
  • Driving when it is dark without headlights activated

Drunk Driving Signs at a Traffic Stop

If a police officer initiates a traffic stop of your vehicle for suspicion of driving under the influence, the officer will be on the lookout for the following signs:

  • Poor motor skills
  • Slurred speech
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • The smell of alcohol on your breath or coming from the car
  • Open containers in the vehicle
  • Mumbling when speaking to the officer
  • Needing questions to be repeated
  • Confusion
  • Fumbling with license and registration
  • Not being able to answer questions correctly
  • Flush face
  • Dilated pupils
  • Vomiting
  • Issues with the health of the driver

Call Today to Schedule a Consultation with a Defense Attorney

Have you been arrested and charged for driving under the influence in Mobile, Alabama? If so, it is in your best interest to schedule a consultation with a defense attorney as soon as possible. Call the office of Darley Law at (251) 441-7772 or message us through our online contact form to schedule your appointment.

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