Police officers look for and attempt to identify drunk drivers based on particular actions that drivers perform. Certain actions indicate a distracted, unfocused driver. Therefore a driver who performs these actions is likely to be pulled over on the suspicion of drunk driving. According to a survey of police officers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), certain driver behaviors are particularly good indicators of drunk driving. Some of the top indicative behaviors include:
- Swinging out too widely while navigating easy turns.
- Straddling the center lane in an attempt to drive in a straight line without actually realizing they are driving partially in the incoming lane.
- Leaning to the side, hunching over the wheel, or otherwise appearing intoxicated.
- Near-miss accidents, in which a driver almost collides with another vehicle or obstacle.
- Weaving within a lane or between lanes.
- Driving on sidewalks or in parking lots rather than on the designated roadway.
- Driving slower than the posted speed limit, attempting to stay in the lane.
- Stopping at green lights or unmarked intersections.
- Tailgating other cars, using them as a guide.
Police officers are scanning the roadways for drivers performing any of these actions. Even if a driver is not over the legal limit, he or she may still be charged for reckless driving.
If you have been pulled over by a police officer and charged with drunk driving, you need a qualified DUI attorney to explain your legal rights and help you fight your charge. Contact the Seattle DUI defense lawyers of the Cowan Kirk Law Firm at 1-866-822-1230 to discuss your legal options.