Houston’s police officers are trained to spot indicators that a person is driving while intoxicated. Some indicators are rather obvious, such as if a driver hits an object or drives through a red light, while others may be subtler.
Wide or Sharp Turns
Properly executing a turn requires coordination which will decrease with alcohol consumption. Police officers are trained to look for people who turn sharply or too wide. Of course, a person’s ability to turn can also be affected by other issues, like not being familiar with the road or if it’s dark out. Importantly, the turn doesn’t need to be illegal.
Excessive & Minimal Speed
Driving Too Slow
A person who drives after drinking may attempt to avoid getting pulled-over by driving slowly. Doing this may raise the suspicion of the police. It’s also readily noticeable if other cars are passing you at a fast rate; don’t be the slowest car on the road.
While slow driving may not be overly alarming (and in most cases, not illegal), it may cause the officer to monitor a person’s driving more closely. Once an officer begins examining a person’s driving very closely, any small mistake may lead to being stopped.
Driving Too Fast
Driving very fast can be an indication that a person has been drinking, although it is not a clue per the DWI Detection Manual published by the National Traffic and Safety Administration. People who were drinking tend to attempt to drive more carefully than they ordinarily would. It’s possible that a person who was drinking will have a difficult time controlling their speed. This may lead to the person driving faster than intended.
Additionally, people who are driving after drinking may not acknowledge speed limit signs, resulting in accidentally driving too fast. Of course, driving over the speed limit is illegal in itself, which would give reason for an officer to make a stop even if the officer doesn’t suspect you of DWI.
The inability to control the speed of the vehicle may lead to excessive braking, which is another sign of drunk driving. An impaired or drunk driver may have slower reactions to traffic signs or signals. Reacting slowly to items like a stop sign or traffic light will raise the suspicion of an officer. It’s important to note that reacting slowly to a red light and almost driving through it, or sitting at a green light will alert the officer to potential impaired or drunk driving on your part.
Failure to Maintain Single Lane of Traffic
Not maintaining a single lane of traffic, or driving on the wrong side of the road, are fairly obvious indicators of possible drunk driving. There are also subtle indications such as weaving or drifting back and forth on the road. Making erratic lane changes will also raise the suspicion of on-looking police officers.
A traffic stop can be used by the officer to justify both your detainment and their arrest decision. Any time you’re driving, especially at night and absolutely after consuming alcohol, it’s imperative to follow traffic laws. It might not be in your best interest to text or use your smart phone under these circumstances.
Looking for DWI Lawyer in Houston?
Contact Attorney Tad A. Nelson, Board Certified®
Although we all know that driving-and-driving or driving-while-intoxicated are illegal offenses, people make simple mistakes all the time which lead to major problems.
At the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates we understand that mistakes happen and we’re ready to offer you a number of solutions.
Making a mistake does not mean that you should be without defense. It also doesn’t mean that people can’t change. It doesn’t mean you have to be barred from driving or jailed either. If you’re ready to take action, contact us today and let us put our experience and expertise to use helping you defend your rights.