January 30, 2024 | DUI
Driving under the influence is a serious matter in Ohio that can lead to severe injuries and even fatalities. As a result, authorities are always on the lookout to ensure they mitigate driving under the influence. One way to mitigate the harm caused by driving under the influence is to pull people over who are suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Most people know that drinking and driving increases accident risks tremendously. However, understanding specific common reasons police pull people over for suspicion of DUI will be useful to keep yourself aware while commuting responsibly.
Observable Traffic Violations
One of the most common reasons police officers suspect a person is driving under the influence is due to observable traffic violations. If they observe any irregular or reckless behavior, it typically gives them sufficient reason for a routine traffic stop. This could escalate into an arrest for DUI. Examples include:
Speeding or Driving Too Slow
Driving significantly over posted speed limits is a common reason that people are pulled over. Many people might not realize that they can actually be pulled over for driving too slow, also. Both of these scenarios are likely to draw the attention of law enforcement, potentially leading to DUI charges and serious penalties.
Weaving in and Out of Your Lane
If your vehicle drifts from one side to the other within a traffic lane or straddles two lanes, this is perceived as a classic sign of impairment.
Changing Lanes Erratically and Without Signaling
Erratic behavior – like unplanned, sudden lane changes without signaling beforehand – demonstrates a lack of control that many officers associate with drivers who are intoxicated. This type of driving behavior attracts police attention and invites further investigation into potential DUI violations.
Any violation, no matter how small, could lead to a traffic stop.
Vehicle Equipment Issues
Police often use vehicle equipment malfunction as a valid reason to pull drivers over. These issues are then opportune moments for them to detect signs of impairment. Common examples include:
Broken Headlights or Taillights
Operating a car with broken headlights or taillights after dark is particularly risky, and law enforcement officers usually watch out for these issues. If an officer pulls you over for a faulty light, it’s also an opportunity for them to observe any signs of impairment while interacting with you.
Expired Registration or License Plate Issues
It’s generally illegal to operate a vehicle with expired tags. Consequently, if your plates are outdated or look suspicious in some way, a police officer is likely to pull you over. From there, if they notice signs of impairment during their interaction with you, you could end up being a defendant and facing DUI charges. Anything from the smell of alcohol to speech and coordination issues could be a sign of intoxication.
Keeping your vehicle in good condition with up-to-date documentation can prevent unnecessary traffic stops.
Driving Behavior Indicative of Impairment
Noticing certain driving behaviors becomes a cause for law enforcement officers to suspect intoxication. This often includes the following:
Slow Response Times
Delayed reactions at traffic signals – like sitting at a green light for too long – are signs that often indicate an impaired driver. It might seem insignificant, but waiting too long at stoplights after they change could certainly lead to a traffic stop.
Appearing to Be Asleep or Unresponsive
Another telltale sign of impairment is if you appear asleep or unresponsive at the wheel, even temporarily, such as at a traffic light. If an officer notices this behavior, they’ll likely pull you over right away out of concern for your safety and the well-being of those around you.
Any of the mentioned driving behaviors, although initially minor, can end up leading to serious consequences if you’re behind the wheel while intoxicated. These conseuqneces include criminal charges and other collateral consequences, like effects on professional licenses.
A DUI checkpoint is another method police often use to pull people over and arrest drunk drivers in Ohio. These are basically roadblocks set up at major intersections or highways where and when drunk driving is likely to occur. Officers stop certain cars and make quick observations of the driver. If they notice any signs indicating that you might be intoxicated, they will ask you to pull over for further investigation.
A DUI Defense Lawyer Can Help if You’re Pulled Over
While you should never drive under the influence, understanding what usually triggers officers’ suspicions helps you stay conscious and responsible on the road. However, if you find yourself accused of a DUI in Ohio despite practicing safe driving habits, a DUI defense lawyer can help you navigate that challenging time.
Contact the Cincinnati DUI Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Cincinnati
600 Vine Street, Suite 1004
Cincinnati, OH 45202