Law enforcement has a long list of indicators before pulling someone over on suspicion of driving under the influence. Without these signs, patrols may not have reasonable suspicion or probable cause they need to justify the stop. Once they do stop a driver, further investigation can lead to charges more severe than the initial violation or actions that caught their attention.
Questioning the officer’s judgment for determining reasonable suspicion or probable cause often has the best success in fighting the charges, regardless of what they discover during the stop’s preliminary investigation.
Behaviors officers will look for
Some of the most common red flags attributed to driver intoxication are:
- Appearance: The driver may appear to be drinking an alcoholic beverage while driving, driving with their face too close to the windshield or other seemingly incriminating actions.
- Erratic driving: Drivers may be following traffic laws, but swerving, drifting out of their lane, braking unexpectedly or too aggressively.
- Turns: These can be illegal turns, abrupt turns, or turns that are too wide.
- Near misses: Drivers may come too close to other vehicles, pedestrians or objects.
- Wrong speed: Drivers may be moving faster or slower than the posted speed.
- Traffic signals: Drivers can appear unresponsive to changing traffic signals or road signage.
Looks can be deceiving
Successfully operating a vehicle involves a complex and ongoing series of adjustments. Sometimes this can mean mistakes, momentary lapses, distractions, or poor judgment that has nothing to do with intoxication or impairment. Those with questions about an officer’s reasonable suspicion or probable cause can discuss the details of the stop with an attorney who handles criminal defense and DUI here in Mississippi. They can evaluate the situation and help determine the best course of action.