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What do police officers look for as signs of drunk driving?

Most of us understand the dangers of drunk driving. We often take various precautions in order to avoid drunk driving, such as asking a friend to be a sober driver, avoiding drinking altogether or spending the night at a friend’s house or a hotel instead of driving home.

Even when we are sober and driving home after a party or an outing, there is often a fear of being pulled over. We know that police officers are out in strong numbers throughout New Hampshire, especially during the evenings and on the weekends. Unfortunately, even the slightest deviation from “perfect” driving can be a cause for a police officer to pull you over.

So what signs do officers look for when they are watching cars on the road? Speeding is a pretty obvious one that they watch out for, but they also look for drivers who are driving too slowly. Some drivers drive below speed limit to be extra cautious at night, causing police to mistakenly assume they are under the influence of alcohol.

Another sign that an officer may look for is when a driver straddles the lanes or cannot stay in his or her lane. Again, while this can be a clear sign of drunk driving, this can also happen when visibility is low or when a driver is unfamiliar with his or her surroundings.

Finally, other actions, such as taking off from a stoplight with a sudden jerk or passing improperly, can be other signs of drunk driving. While these all may be true signs that a driver is intoxicated, they can also be caused by many other factors, leading to a situation where an innocent driver is accused of acting illegally.

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