Looking for Signs of DWI

Kurtz Blum, PLLC | Raleigh Criminal LawyersPolice don’t have a magic tool that can detect intoxicated drivers instantly. Law enforcement must look for visual clues to give them a reason to pull a car over. Traffic violations are the most prominent signs. When you see someone constantly swerving in and out of incoming traffic, there is likely something wrong with either the car or the driver.

Police can’t assume someone is driving while intoxicated, especially if the driver has done nothing wrong. In today’s world, the driver would be quick to uphold his rights. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), therefore, enumerates 24 visual cues, divided into four categories. Police have a reasonable suspicion if the probability factor (p) is 1 or more.

  • Problems in maintaining proper lane position (e.g. weaving, swerving, drifting) – p = 0.5 to 0.75

  • Speed and braking problems (e.g. stopping too far, driving too slow) – p = 0.45 to 0.70

  • Vigilance problems (e.g. driving without headlights, driving in opposite lanes) – p = 0.55 to 0.65

  • Judgment problems (e.g. tailgating, unsafe lane change or turn) – p = 0.35 to 0.90

Weaving, in addition to a specific visual cue, warrants a factor of at least 0.65. Spotting two clues deserves at least 0.50. Police can stop a driver with a factor of at least 0.35. Visual cues during stops also count. Signs like slurred speech, difficulty in leaving the car, or excessive swaying call for at least 0.85.

If you’re stopped for visual signs of DWI, consult an attorney in Raleigh, NC.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s