What Behavior and Patterns the Police Look for When Searching Out Intoxicated Drivers

Person Driving and Drinking

Flashing red lights in the rear view mirror can spell disaster if you have been drinking and driving. Even if you only has a glass of wine with dinner or a beer with a friend after work, encountering a law enforcement officer while driving with alcohol on your breath is not likely to be a pleasant experience. While the best way to avoid finding yourself in this situation is too never drink and drive, the reality is that you could find yourself behind the wheel after having a drink. Therefore, it helps to know what behavior and patterns the police look for when searching out an intoxicated driver.

Whether or not these driving behaviors and patterns actually constitute probable cause to stop you is an issue for your New York criminal defense attorney to evaluate; however, they are behaviors that are often used as a reason to pull someone over and initiate an investigation for driving under the influence:

  • Failing to turn on lights after dark
  • Failing to signal
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Crossing the center line
  • Drifting on to the shoulder
  • Failing to go when a light turns green
  • Driving too fast
  • Driving too slow
  • Rapid or erratic acceleration and deceleration
  • Failing to yield
  • Going the wrong way on a one way street

Although all of these driving behaviors could also be caused by something other than an intoxicated driver, law enforcement officers will become suspicious if they see a driver exhibit any of these behaviors. If you exhibit several of these behaviors, you can probably count on being pulled over and questioned about driving under the influence.

After being pulled over and questioned, if the officer believes you were, in fact, driving under the influence you will likely be asked to perform a series of field sobriety tests, or FSTs.  How well you perform on the FSTs (as evaluated by the officer) will determine whether or not you are arrested and charged with DUI/DWI.

If you are charged with DUI/DWI, the officer will place you in custody and transport you to the jail or station where you will be asked to submit to a chemical test, usually a breath test. The results of your chemical test will be used as evidence against you should your case go to trial. Although you cannot be forced to submit to a chemical test, refusing one comes with its own set of consequences, including temporary suspension of your license.

If you have been charged with DUI/DWI in the State of New York, contact an experienced New York criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to determine what legal options and defenses you have.

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