To arrest someone for driving while intoxicated, a police officer must have enough evidence that suggests it was reasonable to believe the driver was inebriated at the time of the traffic stop. Here’s how law enforcement officers determine whether or not to make a DWI arrest.
They Observe Your Driving Behavior
Before pulling your vehicle over, your driving behavior is observed for indicators that you may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Police are checking for behaviors like weaving or swerving, or the general inability to follow traffic laws in the area.
Often, police are tipped off to a drunk driver simply because they committed a minor traffic violation.
They Look for the Sight and Smell of Contraband
As the police officer comes up to your car and interacts with you, they will be looking for other evidence that you may be impaired.
They’ll be examining your car through the windows with their flashlight for any contraband that may be readily seen, like containers of alcohol or drug paraphernalia. They’ll also be smelling your vehicle and your breath as they engage with you.
They Pay Attention to How You Act During the Traffic Stop
Your initial behavior will also be evaluated for signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech and the inability to understand or follow the directions the officer is giving you.
If you have to move around a lot to get your license and registration or you are asked to get out of the vehicle, the officer will visually evaluate your balance and coordination.
They Conduct a Chemical Test
Usually, a police officer will ask you to submit to a breathalyzer test to check your blood alcohol content, or BAC level. If you exceed the legal limit, you are subject to arrest, even if you display no other signs of intoxication.
If you refuse a breathalyzer test, your license will be automatically suspended, so it’s usually best to comply and challenge the validity of the results later.
Charged With Drinking and Driving? Contact Richard Brueckner Today
Your future is on the line if you were arrested for drunk driving and you face numerous penalties like jail time, fines, community service, probation, license suspension, and many more.
Get the legal help you need now to reduce your chances of being convicted or increase the chances that your charge will be reduced. Call Richard Brueckner now for your consultation at 410-430-1464.