Drivers may already know that driving under influence, or driving while intoxicated (DUI/DWI) is bad, but sometimes may find themselves in such a predicament. By the time police officers notice this, it can lead to a lot of trouble. However, as the law is fair, officers have to first make sure that a driver really is under the influence.
Generally, police officers can stop drivers under special conditions and check them if they are driving under the influence. This is no complete list, but this includes swerving, frequent breaking, and extremely slow driving.
However, it is a general rule of thumb that police officers will have good reasons to stop drivers and their vehicles, especially if they have suspicions that said driver is driving under the influence.
There are various “tests” and proof that officers need to see and examine before actually making an arrest. For instance, a good cause of concern is erratic driving on part of the driver. This means swerving, driving too slowly or even failing to stop.
The officer will also ask for your permission to do some field sobriety tests. These differ from state to state, but generally constitute some routinary instructions. For instance, some may be asked to walk in a straight line or stand in one leg. Others may administer a speech test, or even look at the eyes for signs of dilation.
Drivers who fail these may also be asked to take chemical blood alcohol level tests. These are normally done by taking a liquid sample. However, others just use a breathalyzer to analyze the level of alcohol in one’s breath.
However, be careful, because drivers who subject themselves to the chemical tests will invoke the implied consent law. This may more or less result in the suspension of their driver’s license, even if they are not found guilty. However, drivers who also refuse the test may give prosecution the free hand to use it against the driver in order to give him a bad image.
Some states would allow drivers to consult a lawyer before taking the test, as well. Police officers who take drivers into their custody must first read them the Miranda warning before asking them further questions.
Curious drivers should read specific laws in their state to make sure that the procedures officers can do to them are actually legal and allowable. They are also advised to consult with a lawyer to know just up to what extent can officers “confront” them if they are indeed stopped on the road.