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How A DWI Stop Is Determined

Police officers are trained to spot certain things when they pull someone over that indicates a person is likely drinking and driving. Even during what seems to be a normal traffic stop, law enforcement officials are looking for evidence that the driver is under the influence. 

Below are just a few of the things a police officer will be looking for when they pull you over to determine if you may be drinking and driving, and what you can do to obtain comprehensive legal representation to protect your rights and best interests. 

An Open Container 

As soon as a police officer approaches your vehicle, they’re looking for anything they can use to show that you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. For example, if you have an empty wine bottle in the backseat, you could be charged with DWI and open container, even if the bottle is clearly dry and was emptied some time ago. 

The Smell of Alcohol 

Law enforcement officers also use their sense of smell to determine if they believe you may be drinking behind the wheel. When you open your window to greet the officer who pulled you over, they’re going to be smelling the air coming out of your vehicle for alcohol or drugs. Even though it’s subjective, the officer’s report of an alcohol odor can be used against you as evidence in court. 

Physical Signs of Intoxication 

The officer who stopped you will also be looking for other indicators of drug or alcohol intoxication, such as: 

  • Difficulty speaking
  • Nodding off or falling asleep 
  • Confusion 
  • Unable to understand the officer’s instructions 
  • Eyes that are bloodshot or red 
  • Unable to retrieve license, registration, and proof of insurance when requested 
  • Uncoordinated movements or movements that are exaggerated and slow

When to Contact a DWI Lawyer 

Police officers often decide to pull someone over for driving while intoxicated before ever having enough evidence to suggest that the driver was, in fact, under the influence. If the officer arrives at the driver’s door and sees that the driver is not intoxicated, they may attempt to pursue an arrest anyway. 

If you were pulled over for drinking and driving, it’s critical that you have an attorney on your side who will represent your rights and best interests. Call criminal defense and DWI lawyer Richard Brueckner now for a consultation to discuss your case and the legal options available to you at 410-430-1464. 

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