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When Can the Police Pull You Over for Suspected DUI?


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiled a list that consists of more than 100 visual cues to help law enforcement identify suspected drunk drivers. The list is broken down into four distinct categories: speed and braking problems, judgment issues, vigilance problems, and issues staying within a driving lane.

Speed & Braking Problems

Intoxicated motorists experience difficulties judging distance and speed, which can lead to acceleration and stopping issues. Common braking problems include stopping well before or beyond an intersection and making jerky and quick stops. Common speed issues include driving well below or beyond the posted speeding limit and driving at varying levels of speed.

Judgment Issues

Operating a vehicle requires all drivers to make a constant series of judgments. Common examples of judgment problems include disobeying traffic signs and stop lights, making erratic or unsafe lane changes, and tailgating.

Vigilance Problems

Drivers must always be vigilant to properly react to current and unexpected road conditions. Common examples of vigilance issues include delayed responses to traffic signals, making turns or switching lanes without signaling, or driving at night without turning on the headlights first.

Issues Maintaining Proper Lane Position

Drunk drivers have problems staying within a driving lane. Common examples include drifting towards one side of the road, swerving, and dangerously weaving through traffic.

Any of these signs is enough reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop. If a police officer notices the smell of alcohol coming from a person or inside a vehicle, slurred speech, red and watery eyes, and delayed reactions or responses, these signs would be enough to establish probable cause to make a DUI arrest.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Bergen County, NJ, contact the Law Offices of Joseph R. Donahue, LLC today at (201) 574-7919.

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