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What Signs Do Cops Look for in a DUI Driving?

 Posted on July 13, 2021 in DUI

california defense lawyerIn a DUI case, the reason why a police officer pulls you over plays an important role. Identifying a traffic violation gives the officer probable cause to stop you in the first place. The officer can gather further evidence of drunk driving. How do police officers determine that there is probable cause for a DUI stop?

The short answer is nobody knows you are driving drunk — not even police officers — just by the traffic violation. However, police are trained to look for specific behaviors to single out possible drunk drivers and follow them until they see a traffic violation to build a DUI case. 

A Vehicle in Motion

One of the first lessons in DUI training is called “Vehicle in Motion.” The lesson is used to train police officers how to identify driving behaviors that could lead to DUI stop, and how to observe and document the behaviors for a DUI case. The training is provided by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), an agency managed by the federal Department of Transportation. 

While the driving behaviors officers are trained to look for are not always illegal, some are. The most common and reliable indicators of a DUI include: 

  • Problems maintaining proper lane position - These are things like weaving in or out of a lane, drifting, straddling a lane line, swerving, or wide turns. 

  • Speed and brake problems - This could be unnecessary acceleration or deceleration, driving under the speed limit, varying speeds, or braking unnecessarily. 

  • Lack of awareness - This could be driving without lights on at night, failing use a turn signal, driving the wrong way on a one-way road, or having a delayed response to a traffic signal.

  • Lack of good judgment - This could mean following too closely behind a vehicle or pulling out in front of another vehicle. 

In addition to watching your behavior on the road, police officers are also trained to consider your reaction to the initial stop. Slurred speech, red eyes, and increased reaction time are some classic indicators of drunk driving.

Contact a San Francisco DUI Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested or accused of a DUI offense, you contact an experienced Napa DUI attorney for help. At Burglin Law Offices, P.C., we have more than 30 years of legal experience litigating DUI cases. In fact, attorney Paul Burglin literally wrote the book many consider to be the “Bible of DUI defense” in California. Contact us for a free consultation. Call 415-729-7300 today.





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