When a police officer pulls you over on suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she already suspects that you’re intoxicated before making the stop. Random stops and breath tests are not allowed. Of course, some DUI stops start as normal traffic stops for things like speeding. But, either way, the officer has a reason to stop you.
This does leave the door open for suspected DUI stops that have nothing to do with drunk driving. Why else might an officer think you’re impaired?
How alcohol impacts driving
First, consider the following ways that alcohol can impact your ability to drive. It may cause you to:
- Have slower reflexes and reaction times
- Struggle to maintain your position on the road
- Feel very fatigued
- Miss road signs
- Swerve over the yellow line
- Have near-miss incidents
- Experience poor coordination
- Drive above or below the speed limit
But alcohol is not the only thing that can cause these kinds of problems. Perhaps you looked down to change the radio station, and that’s why you swerved over the centerline. Maybe you were talking to your children who are in the car with you, so that’s why your reaction time was too slow. Perhaps you forgot to bring your glasses to drive at night, and that’s why you didn’t see the stop sign until you ran it.
That doesn’t make these actions any more legal, but it does mean that an officer may assume you’re intoxicated when you’re actually not. This could then lead to an arrest, and you need to understand all of the legal options that you have if it does.