Cues Police Officers use to detect Drunk Drivers

by Aaron Black • May 16, 2016
Police lightsIf you are pulled over for a DUI in Maricopa County the police officer must have more than just a hunch to pull you over. By law they need to see a traffic violation first. Simple violations such as pulling out of a parking lot without signaling, your tail light is out or you have a crack on your windshield are legal justifications to pull you over.

Although most DUI’s occur at night and on the weekends they can and do occur at any time. Below is a list of cues that the police use when searching for drunk drivers which is based upon research that was conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The top 20 things the Police look for to detect drunk drivers

  • Making a turn with a wide radius
  • Straddling the center of the lane marker
  • "Appearing to be drunk"
  • Coming close to striking an object
  • Weaving
  • Driving on other than designated highway
  • Swerving
  • Motorist speed is more than 10 mph below the speed limit
  • Stopping for no apparent reason in traffic
  • Following cars to closely
  • Drifting
  • Tires are riding on lane marker
  • Erratic braking
  • Driving into oncoming traffic
  • Signaling Inconsistently
  • Slow response to traffic signals
  • Stopping inappropriately 
  • Turning abruptly or illegally
  • Accelerating or Decelerating your vehicle rapidly
  • Headlights aren’t on
In regards to speeding this really isn’t a sign of impaired driving as identified by the NHTSA and most police officers admit that sober drivers regularly drive 10 mph over the speed limit late at night in light traffic. Many prosecutors however will argue that the speeding occurred because alcohol consumption had diminished the person’s judgement which increased their risk taking behavior.

As always I encourage you to plan ahead before consuming alcohol and take a taxi or get a designated driver to get you to and from your destination. If however you have been charged with a DUI in Maricopa County and you have been stopped based on one or more of the cues listed above contact Phoenix DUI Defense attorney Aaron Black for a free consultation or call (480)729-1683 today!

One phone call can mean the difference between jail time and the possibility of having your case dismissed.

About the Author

Aaron Black is the founder and sole attorney of the Law Office of Aaron Black. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, his DUI and criminal defense law firm provides legal services to people who have received felony or misdemeanor charges from the state.

Aaron has developed a strong interest in defending people who have been arrested and received criminal charges for driving under the influence. With his professionalism and knowledge of Arizona DUI and criminal law, he has acted as a check and balance on the police, prosecution and courts and has protected a great number of his clients from excessive and unfair sentencing.

Along with DUI defense, Aaron handles a range of other criminal matters, including aggravated assault, burglary, domestic violence, drug possession, drug trafficking, fraud defense, insurance fraud, sex crimes and white-collar crime.

After graduating college in 2003 from the University of Arizona, Aaron decided to pursue a law degree. He followed a family long tradition and went to the University of South Dakota School of Law where he pursued his goal of becoming a criminal defense lawyer.

After passing the Arizona and South Dakota bar exams, Aaron joined the Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender where he defended hundreds of people charged with serious criminal offenses. His work as a public defender helped him sharpen his litigation skills and gave him a unique insight into the Arizona criminal justice system.

Over the course of his 15-year legal career, Aaron has spent a considerable amount of time in both Arizona justice, municipal, state and federal courts. He has argued over 50 jury trials, tried over 100 bench trials and has become one of the highest-rated criminal and DUI defense attorneys in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. He has received a 10/10 rating from the legal directory Avvo because of his legal background and successful case record. Since 2014, he has received the Super Lawyer rating for his work as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.

You can review Aaron’s Attorney Bio page for more information about his background, education and experience as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.
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