As drivers, most of us know that there are certain actions or driving behaviors that officers look out for when it comes to identifying possible drunk drivers.
What many drivers do not know is that officers are trained on the "visual detection of DWI motorists," meaning many, if not all officers receive specialized training by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to visually detect people who are driving under the influence.
Nationwide, law enforcement officers are trained on the NHTSA's, The DWI Detection Guide, which teaches officers to look out for certain driving behaviors, which are indicative of driving under the influence. Such behaviors include, but are not limited to:
- Turning with a wide radius
- Almost striking another vehicle or object
- Driving without headlights on at night
- Unsafe lane change
If you are ever stopped because you have displayed one of the above driving behaviors, the officer already has suspicion that you are intoxicated.
This means that the officer will be looking closely for any other signs of intoxication such as slurred speech, difficulty exiting the vehicle, fumbling with your driver's license or registration, swaying, or the odor of alcohol on your breath. That being said, if you are involved in a routine DUI stop, this is what you should NOT do:
- Don't repeat the officer's questions and comments.
- Don't provide incorrect information, or change your answers.
- Don't display inappropriate or unusual behavior.
- Don't act suspicious. If you appear to be hiding something under the seat, or throwing something out the window, that could be reason for the officer to pat you down and search under your front seat.
- Don't be rude or disrespectful to the officer.
- Don't volunteer information and don't argue.
- Don't get out of your car unless the officer asks you to.
- Don't tell the officer how much you had to drink – that's a mistake! It's better to remain silent or tell the officer that you cannot recall exactly what you had to drink. Otherwise, your "estimations" will haunt you at trial.
- Don't lean on your car while talking to the officer. This makes it look like you can't stand up straight.
Remember that when you are pulled over, you are being closely observed. These days police cars are usually equipped with dash cams, and many Georgia law enforcement agencies have adopted the wearing of body-mounted cameras. At this point, technology has advanced so much that transparency is not just possible, but it is routine on many traffic stops.
If you were recently arrested for DUI, it's important that you know your rights and all of your legal defenses. At The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson, we have resolved over 4,900 cases and we have over 19 years of experience. As a former DUI prosecutor, Attorney Lawson has what it takes to defend you!
Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation, we can be reached at (404) 816-4440.
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