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What Driving Symptoms Do DUI Cops Look For?


Do you ever wonder just what the police are looking for when they’re out at night patrolling for drunk drivers?  And how you can avoid looking like one?

The following list of DUI driving symptoms, from a publication issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (DOT HS-805-711), is widely used in training officers to detect drunk drivers on the roads.  After each symptom is a percentage figure which, according to NHTSA, indicates the chances that a driver is under the influence of alcohol.  For example, NHTSA claims that its research indicates that “the chances are 65 out of 100″ that a driver who is straddling a center or lane marker has a blood-alcohol concentration of .10% or higher (the pre-.08% standard).

Turning with wide radius     65

Straddling center or lane marker     65

Appearing to be drunk     60

Almost striking object or vehicle     60

Weaving     60

Driving on other than designated roadway     55

Swerving     55

Slow speed (more than 10mph below limit)     50

Stopping (without cause) in traffic lane     50

Drifting     50

Following too closely     45

Tires on center or land marker     45

Braking erratically     45

Driving into opposing or crossing traffic     45

Signalling inconsistent with driving actions     40

Stopping inappropriately (other than in lane)     35

Turning abruptly or illegally     35

Accelerating or decelerating rapidly     30

Headlights off     30

Just to reenforce this as a mathematical science to impress to juries, NHTSA further claims — and officers are taught — that there is also a quick-and-easy formula for multiple symptoms:  “When two or more cues are seen, add 10 to the highest value among the cues observed”.

Of course, if these suspiciously precise figures are to be believed, then almost half of the folks who tailgate you every day are drunk – and almost half of the time you don’t brake smoothly you are, too.  Further, only 60% of drivers “appearing to be drunk” to the officer actually are. (Query:  How does a driver “appear to be drunk” to an officer following 100 feet behind? Slurred speech?  Alcohol on his breath?)  And speeding — one of the most common reasons for pulling DUI suspects over — is not even on the list. 

The post What Driving Symptoms Do DUI Cops Look For? appeared first on Law Offices of Taylor and Taylor - DUI Central.

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