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Know the signs police look for when spotting drunk drivers

While a skilled criminal defense attorney can win an acquittal for a client charged with Driving Under the Influence, the best scenario is for the client to avoid the charge altogether.

Police on DUI patrols look for the following driving behaviors in motorists who may be intoxicated:

-- Abruptly decelerating and accelerating

-- Tailgating other drivers

-- Near misses with stationary objects or other vehicles

-- Weaving from lane to lane

-- Driving off-road or in the breakdown lane

-- Erratically braking or stopping for no apparent reason

-- Failing to signal, or signaling inconsistently

-- Not using headlights after dark or when weather conditions warrant it

-- Driving more than 10 miles below the posted limits in fair weather

-- Making illegal turns

-- Driving in the wrong direction headed into oncoming traffic

If you get stopped by police for suspicion of drunk driving, it is vital that you remain calm and not exacerbate the situation. Resisting arrest, attempting to flee the scene and other similar actions will only intensify the situation. Doing so not only will result in additional charges for you but may get you injured or even killed if an officer perceives your behavior as a threat to him or her.

It is important to remember that you do have rights in these situations. You should obey the officer's command to produce your license, insurance and vehicle registration documents. You do not have to participate in any roadside sobriety tests. Under most circumstances, you are not compelled to take a Breathalyzer test. However, understand that refusing to do so carries its own penalties and restrictions.

Exercising your legal right to remain silent and requesting to speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible is a good strategy to employ.

Source: Mothers Against Drunk Driving, "How to Spot a Drunk Driver," accessed Sep. 23, 2015

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