It's no secret that getting charged with DUI can have significantly negative implications on a person's immediate and indefinite future. However, understanding how a DUI traffic stop is conducted is the best way to equip yourself with the knowledge to defend yourself in the event that any charges are filed. Here are some answers to common questions regarding DUI traffic stops.
Law enforcement officers are highly trained to spot drivers that are under the influence. They typically look for signs of erratic driving, including speeding, swerving, not obeying traffic lights and signs, and more. All of these signs give officers reasonable suspicion that the driver of the vehicle is mentally impaired.
Once the traffic stop is underway, the officer can use their other senses to try to determine whether or not you're under the influence before requesting any tests. These signs include the stench of alcohol in the car or on the person's breath, slurred words, red eyes, and general aloofness.
Serving as the first type of sobriety test an officer will conduct after noticing signs of impairment in a DUI traffic stop, they traditionally consist of physical and verbal tasks related to balance and cognition. The officer may ask you to walk in a straight line, stand on one leg, follow their finger with your eyes, recite the alphabet, and more.
It may seem logical to want to reach out to DUI lawyers as soon as possible after being pulled over, but it isn't always necessary, nor is it legal in all states. It's usually better to wait until the traffic stop is over, but if you have concerns, don't be afraid to record the entire interaction from start to finish on your cell phone.
Ultimately, an average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before the first arrest, and being aware of these steps of a DUI traffic stop can help you determine the best steps to take if you're pulled over. Keep an eye out for the next post, where we'll answer even more questions about the DUI traffic stop process and when to consult a DUI attorney in Lake Oswego.