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What Warning Signs Alert a Police Officer to Drunk Driving?

Drivers often feel that drunk driving arrests are completely random – the officer just got “lucky” when they pulled someone over. In reality, a police officer is actually much more strategic as they search for intoxicated drivers. Officers are trained to be on the alert for certain red flags and when they spot them, it often leads to pulling the driver over.

While many of the signs of intoxication don’t seem like much on their own, they can become very serious when combined or repeated. Being aware of what an officer is looking for may even help you avoid getting arrested and keep other drivers safe on the road.

What Officers are Looking for in Drunk Drivers

The most common signs of drunk driving include the following:

  • Rapidly speeding up or slowing down
  • Drifting between lanes
  • Tailgating
  • Ignoring stop signs or stop lights
  • Misusing turn signals
  • Driving with headlights off at night

An officer is required to have probable cause before they pull someone over. This means that they must have a reason for stopping the driver in the first place, or the arrest may be considered illegal. Constantly paying attention to drivers who exhibit the above behavior can lead to many drunk driving arrests.

Once pulled over, a police officer may ask a driver to perform field sobriety tests. While these tests are meant to confirm sobriety, they are highly subjective and often do a disservice to drivers rather than the opposite. If asked, it is best to politely tell the officer no and remain silent.

If you have been arrested for drunk driving, your future is at stake. Even if you believe your arrest was unconstitutional or unwarranted, it is important to remember that the jury could still prosecute you. Don’t wait until it is too late to secure legal counsel! Schedule a free consultation with our firm’s Pasadena DUI lawyer to obtain the advocacy you need.