The police are not allowed to make random traffic stops and give out breath tests to see if drivers are intoxicated. They need to have a reason to stop the car prior to that point.
There are a lot of different things that they look for to determine if a stop is warranted. While some DUIs are given out after a crash, many are simply due to traffic stops after driving mistakes. What types of mistakes are the police looking for that tell them that someone may be drunk?
Improper driving tactics
Essentially, the police are just looking for someone driving in a way that seems abnormal, perhaps making errors that are not easily explained otherwise. A few examples include:
- Making a turn that is far too wide and unnecessary
- Failing to accelerate at a green light or slowing down to stop well before a red light
- Swerving into the oncoming lanes or driving right on the centerline
- Accelerating and decelerating seemingly at random, with little control over the vehicle
- Nearly getting into an accident and then avoiding it at the last second
- Driving far too slowly, such as going 35 miles an hour in a 55-mph zone
The key thing to take away from this, if you’ve been accused of driving under the influence, is that the police do need to have some sort of reason to stop your vehicle. The above are just examples of what they may have noticed, but it’s important that they never make a traffic stop without a reason. If you believe they should never have pulled you over to begin with, then you need to know exactly what legal steps you can take to defend your interests.