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Common signs cops look for to determine if a driver is drunk

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2019 | Drunk Driving, DWI Law

Missouri police officers are constantly on the lookout for anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the intoxication of any illicit substance. On April 20th of this year, Missouri police departments launched a “Drive high, Get a DUI” campaign to encourage people not to operate a vehicle after smoking marijuana. 

While marijuana has received a lot of attention lately, people in Missouri still need to remember not to drive a car after consuming any amount of alcohol. Cops are always on the lookout, especially at night. The following signs are all police officers need to pull you over and arrest you on suspicion of DUI. 

Driving behaviors

Drunk drivers typically exhibit numerous behaviors when they try to drive safely. Although they are not foolproof, they give the cops sufficient reason to pull the driver over. Common driving behaviors that indicate the presence of a drunk driver include:

  • Going well over the posted speed limit
  • Nearly striking objects or other vehicles
  • Driving over the lines
  • Having a delayed reaction to all traffic signals
  • Driving without headlights turned on
  • Stopping and braking at inappropriate times
  • Signaling at questionable moments
  • Tailgating
  • Weaving between the lanes without signaling
  • Decelerating or accelerating for no reason
  • Going the wrong way on a one-way street
  • Acting erratically inside the car

Behaviors while pulled over

Once the cops have pulled someone over, they will continue to look for signs to determine potential inebriation. If the driver slurs words or has the smell of alcohol on their breath, then that is an immediate red flag. Whenever the cops pull anyone over, it is paramount to not panic. It is important to cooperate with the police and use your right to remain silent if needed. 


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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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