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Why do police officers make DWI stops?

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2020 | DWI Defense |

You may have wondered how the police decide to pull over a driver on suspicion of DWI. Why does a police officer believe that someone may be driving under the influence? Sometimes a drunk driver gives off signs that something is wrong. 

As FindLaw explains, there are a number of ways a driver may draw the attention of a law enforcement officer. If you understand the signs that could attract a police officer, you may know how to avoid an unnecessary stop and a field sobriety test. 

Stopping a driver for erratic driving

If you drive in a reckless fashion, a police officer may have probable cause to pull you over. Motorists with a high BAC level may speed while driving, almost collide with another vehicle, or drift in and out of lanes. A law enforcement officer might also stop you for strange driving like stopping when you have no obvious reason to do so, driving too slowly, or braking too often. 

Stopping a driver for other reasons

An officer might pull you over for reasons that have nothing to do with a DWI. If your brake lights are out while driving, an officer may stop you. A problem with your license plate or a broken windshield might also attract police attention. During the stop, the officer might suspect you have a high alcohol level and have you perform a sobriety test. 

Investigating someone who is not driving

The police do not even have to see you drive to think you might have a high BAC level. If another vehicle collides with you, the officer who investigates your accident may suspect alcohol was a factor and test both you and the other driver. You might also run the risk of a police visit if you park somewhere and fall asleep in the driver’s seat.