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NHTSA Identified Signs of Drunken Driving

Cop pulls over a guy for DUI

After an arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, many drivers wonder what they did that made police pull them over on suspicion of driving drunk. While drivers may never learn the precise reason that police decided to pull them over, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) publishes a list for local police of 24 cues of driving while intoxicated to look for, as well as a list of behavioral cues that intoxicated drivers tend to exhibit after they’re pulled over. The NHTSA also suggests that these cues can be used as evidentiary support for officer trial testimony on DUI charges.

Understanding these signs and tests can be critical in defending you against charges of DUI, both in order to point out shortcomings in the arresting officer’s implementation of the tests, and in order to note flaws in the tests themselves. Some of the cues which the NHTSA describes as signs of intoxication could easily be signs of slightly inattentive driving or nervousness when speaking with the officer after being pulled over.

Signs of intoxication that police will look for among drivers include:

  • weaving within a lane or between lanes
  • turning with a wide radius
  • stopping too far, too short, or jerkily
  • variations in speed or traveling ten or more miles under the speed limit
  • following too closely
  • slow response to traffic signals
  • inappropriate stop in response to an officer
  • failure to signal or signaling incorrectly

The following are some of the post-stop behaviors that the police may point to as evidence of intoxication in support of an arrest:

  • difficulty with car’s controls
  • fumbling with your driver’s license or registration
  • slowness to respond to officer’s questions, or asking officer to repeat himself
  • providing incorrect answers or changing answers
  • smelling of alcohol

If you’ve been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Kentucky, select a defense attorney who will stand up for your right to a fair trial and contact Louisville DUI attorney Ron Aslam for a free consultation, at 502-581-1676.