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How do the police spot drunk drivers?

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2021 | DUI Defense

Unfortunately, many motorists haven’t gotten the message about how dangerous it is to drive while intoxicated. That’s why countless Illinois drivers end up facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges each year.

The police are definitely watching. In fact, there are multiple clues that they look for to spot drivers who might be impaired.

Strategies that police use to catch intoxicated drivers

Have you ever passed by a nightclub or a bar around closing time? If so, then you may have seen a motorist pulled over by a law enforcement officer right down the street from one of those places of business. It’s not uncommon for law enforcement officers to linger around businesses that serve alcohol in hopes of netting them some motorists that they suspect are too intoxicated to operate a vehicle safely. 

Law enforcement agencies keep statistics of when and where DUI arrests occur. They use that data to determine where to set up drunk driving checkpoints and when they should do so. They understand that people sometimes consume excessive amounts of alcohol at concerts, sports events, parties, weddings and holiday get-togethers. The police know that motorists are more apt to get behind the wheel drunk during the evenings or weekends. Law enforcement agencies employ target patrols to catch intoxicated motorists when they’re most inclined to be out and about. 

Another strategy that police officers employ to identify potentially intoxicated motorists is to pull over anyone driving the least bit erratically. Failing to yield to the right of way, running a stop sign or light, driving above or below the speed limit or without your headlights on and swerving are some behaviors that can get a motorist pulled over. 

What happens after police pull you over

The police officer who pulls you over is likely to try to verbally engage with you to determine if you have impaired diction and to check for dilated pupils. They may also ask you to get out of your vehicle to perform a field sobriety test if they still suspect intoxication. They may arrest you depending on how that goes. 

If you’re arrested for drunk driving, stay calm and speak to an attorney right away about your rights.