Drunk driving is a common offense. However, despite the fact that many people face this type of allegation, you still need to understand that you could face serious consequences in the event that police charge you with DUI and a court convicts you. Of course, you may have the ability to help yourself by understanding what officers look for during a DUI traffic stop.
Various elements may go into whether an officer suspects you of driving under the influence, and whether he or she believes charges should apply. The three main types of evidence officers may consider include driver evidence, field evidence and blood-alcohol evidence.
When it comes to driver evidence, authorities will typically take various aspects of a driver’s appearance into consideration. Some factors that may cause an officer to suspect you of drinking and driving include the following:
- Your eyes seem glassy or bloodshot.
- Your words come out slurred when you try to speak.
- You smell of alcohol.
- You have a disheveled appearance.
- You have a flushed or red face.
- Your hair appears unkempt.
Of course, many of these aspect could be considered subjective. After all, perhaps someone spilled beer on you though you did not drink, or maybe you had the windows rolled down while driving, which caused your hair to become disheveled.
Field evidence typically includes more behavioral aspects than simply physical aspects. For instance, some of the aspects an officer may use as field evidence include the following:
- The officer considered your conduct unacceptable.
- The officer did not believe you performed field sobriety tests properly.
- The officer believed that statements you made provided evidence of intoxication.
- The officer took photographs or video at the scene to use as evidence later.
- The officer believed that you drove in a unusual or unsafe manner.
With field evidence, you could easily prevent an officer from obtaining incriminating evidence against you. If asked to make a statement, you can choose to remain silent. Additionally, even if an officer makes it appear that field sobriety tests are required, you do not have to participate.
Another step that an officer may take is having you perform a breath test. However, even if a test indicates that your blood-alcohol concentration level is over the legal limit, those tests have questionable reliability.
Even if you do your best to exercise your rights during a DUI stop, an officer may still file charges against you. If so, you may want to take steps to learn more about your criminal defense options for fighting DUI allegations.