Driving Patterns that can Lead to DUI

Word to the wise … virtually all Washington traffic enforcement officers are trained on how to detect and process DUI suspects. Many are in fact trained in accordance with National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards. Many years ago NHTSA compiled a list of certain “driving patterns” to alert police of potentially impaired drivers. NHTSA has in fact outlined indicators/ clues of drunk driving. The following are some of the clues traffic enforcement officers have been ‘programmed’ to look for: (1) making a turn with a wide radius; straddling a center or lane marker; (2) nearly striking an object or another vehicle; weaving; (3) driving outside the designated roadway; swerving; drifting; driving more than 10% below the posted speed limit; stopping in traffic for no reason; (4) tailgating; driving with tires on center lane marker; erratic braking; driving into oncoming traffic; (5) incorrect signaling; (6) slow response to traffic signals; inappropriate stops (not in traffic); abrupt or illegal turns; (7) sudden acceleration or deceleration; driving without headlights after dark; and the all encompassing … (8) “appearing to be drunk.”

Yes, many of the aforementioned clues/ indicators can be attributed to other things besides driving impaired, i.e. texting, lighting a cigarette, eating, putting make-up on and the like, but it gives cause for a law enforcement officer to initiate a traffic stop nonetheless, and upon contact with the driver it possibly gives the officer an opportunity to further conduct a DUI investigation if the circumstances warrant. Something as simple as the odor of alcohol will be all that is necessary for an officer to commence a Terry investigation after a traffic stop; in other words, it does not take much for a DUI investigation to proceed in Washington State. And because of the current political climate surrounding DUI’s, an actual DUI arrest is likely if the officer has even the slightest inkling that someone is impaired by the alcohol/ drugs he consumed.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.

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