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How Cops Spot a DUI

How Cops Spot a DUI

Police Officer writing a ticket for DUILaw enforcement officers are trained to look for certain driving patterns that may indicate a driver is under the influence of alcohol and or drugs.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the three most common ways cops spot a DUI are; 1) wide turns, 2) straddling along the central marker between lanes, and 3) appearing to be drunk.

Officers must have a “reasonable cause” or a “reasonable suspicion” that a driver is violating the law in some manner to pull the driver over.  Reasonable cause and reasonable suspicion have no precise definition but it must be something supported by a collection of facts, for example an officer could see a car swerving and that minor moving violation would be enough for a stop.

An officer cannot pull someone over because they may have a hunch that person is DUI, they also cannot randomly pull drivers over in hopes they will find an individual that is DUI.

How Cops Spot a DUI

Here is the complete list of impaired driving signs cops are looking for when searching for DUIs.  The list, provided by the NHTSA, is in order from most common way a cop spots a DUI to least likely way.

  • Negotiating a wide turn
  • Straddling along the central marker between the lanes
  • Appearing to be drunk
  • Near misses or hitting either another vehicle or an object
  • Weaving between lanes
  • Driving off of designated highway
  • Swerving within the lane lines
  • Speeding over 10 mph above the designated speed limit
  • Questionable stops in traffic lanes
  • Tailgating
  • Drifting
  • Driving over center marker between lanes
  • Excessive braking
  • Driving against traffic
  • Questionable signaling
  • Delayed reaction to traffic signals
  • Inappropriate stopping or slowing
  • Illegal or unwarranted turns
  • Accelerating or slowing down quickly
  • Driving without headlights on

Interestingly enough, excessive speeding is not a sign of DUI.  Speeding requires quick reflexes and strong judgment, traits that are usually typical of a sober individual.  However if an individual is speeding and they also happen to be DUI, an officer would be able to investigate that individual for DUI even though they did not initially pull them over for DUI.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the above subject matter you can contact David at


Seattle Mom Arrested for DUI – Prescription Drug Use

Seattle Mom Arrested for DUI – Prescription Drug Use

Here in Washington State not only can you be arrested for alcohol related DUI (driving under the influence)  but you can also be arrested for drug induced DUI.  “Drug” includes the illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine and also legal or medically prescribed drugs, such as marijuana, codeine, percocet, and so many more.  If an individual is impaired by the use of any type of drug than it is illegal to drive.

Recently in the Seattle news, a 34-year-old mother was arrested for drug induced DUI.  On Monday night, June 17th,  this mother was in a 7 Eleven parking lot when she backed her pickup truck into a parked van.  When Seattle police arrived at the scene, they noted the mother was unsteady on her feet, swaying, and staggering.  She was asked to take the DUI field sobriety test which she allegedly failed miserably.

Police found 2 newly prescribed drug bottles on the floor of the mother’s truck of which many pills were missing.  To make matters worse, law enforcement found her 2-year-old in the back of her pickup truck poorly fastened in his car seat.  The woman was arrested for DUI, child endangerment, and negligent driving.

Drug induced DUI penalties are the same as alcohol related DUI penalties.  DUI charges are serious and consequences are harsh; fines, loss of driver’s license, jail time, etc.  It is important to choose a qualified DUI defense attorney to defend one’s rights.

Call David O Defense if you have been charged with a drug related DUI case.  The consultation is free but the peace of mind provided after is invaluable.


Written by S.O