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How do police detect DUI?

When you take to the road after consuming alcohol, there's always a risk of being pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence. Even if you think you're following the rules of the road, police are on the lookout for anyone who is driving in a suspicious or erratic manner.

Here are three methods police use to detect DUI:

  • Observation of illegal or erratic driving: For example, if an officer is watching traffic from the side of the road, they may be looking for drivers who are swerving in and out of their lane, driving extremely slowly or ignoring traffic signs. This is the type of probable cause an officer needs to pull you over and learn more about what's happening.
  • Field sobriety tests: If you're stopped by police, they're likely to conduct a variety of field sobriety tests to determine if you've been drinking and driving. These typically include standing on one leg, walking in a straight line and/or a speech test.
  • Chemical test: If you fail one or more field sobriety test, expect the officer to ask you to take a chemical test. These tests are normally taken by testing a breath sample, urine or your blood. At the scene, the use of a Breathalyzer is most common.

Just because an officer pulls you over for suspicion of DUI doesn't mean you'll be put under arrest. Here are some steps you can take to protect against this:

  • Treat the officer with respect
  • Provide the information requested of you
  • Don't talk back or become upset or angry

Also, you have the right to refuse to answer questions. If you don't feel comfortable providing an answer, it's okay to explain your stance to the officer.

If you're arrested for driving under the influence, remain calm and take mental notes about everything that's happening. Once you're processed and released, turn your attention to your legal rights and the steps you'll take to prevent a conviction.

The consequences of a DUI conviction are severe, so do your best to implement a defense strategy that allows you to avoid trouble. This will give you the confidence necessary to move through the legal process.

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