Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense with severe consequences. Learn what police officers look for when they suspect someone may be driving under the influence so you can stay safe on the roads. With the right information, you can make informed decisions.

Times When Impaired Driving Increases

Police officers are trained to know when and where drunk driving is most likely to occur. There are days and times when the amount of drunk drivers on the road are expected to peak. These days include holidays such as New Year’s Eve, the 4th of July, and the day before Thanksgiving. More impaired drivers typically are on the road on Fridays and Saturdays as well.

Additionally, driving under the influence is more likely to occur in the late hours of the evening or early hours of the morning around closing time or “last call.”

Signs of an Impaired Driver

Police officers are also trained to look for driving patterns that may indicate an impaired driver. Some of these patterns may include:

  • Sudden breaking

  • Crossing over the median

  • Driving too slow

  • Sudden turns

  • Weaving or swerving

  • Failure to turn on the headlights

  • Delayed response to traffic signals

Signs of Impairment During a Traffic Stop

After an officer has detected a reason to perform a traffic stop, they will begin to look for any sign of unlawful activity. They will search for visual signals, the odor of drugs or alcohol, or any contradictions given by the driver.

Examples of this would be getting pulled over with empty beer cans on the floorboard, smelling of alcohol, and coming from the opposite direction of where you told the officer you were coming from. Officers are also on the lookout for slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, stuttering or rambling, as well as delayed responses.

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