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Traffic stops can sometimes lead to drunk driving charges

Field sobriety tests are one thing that a person who is driving drunk might think they can handle; however, police officers are trained to detect signs of impairment during these tests. Knowing what police officers look for during the field sobriety test, as well as during other points in the traffic stop, might help you if you are facing the prospect of having to go through a drunk driving stop.

Police officers usually look for signs of impairment as they are patrolling. These signs include failing to obey traffic signals, driving in an erratic manner, or drifting between lanes. Officers can pull you over if you are breaking any traffic laws. When they approach you, they might discover that you are showing signs of impairment. This means that unless you are a perfect driver, you face being pulled over each time you get behind the wheel.

Once the officer pulls you over, he or she might look for cues that you have been drinking. Smelling like alcohol, slurring your speech, fumbling as you get your identification and having trouble getting out of the car are some of the cues the officer will look for. If the officer notices any of these, you might be asked to take a field sobriety test.

If the police officer does initiate a field sobriety test, you should listen carefully to the instructions and try to follow them. Failing to follow the instructions can result in you failing the test. If the officer believes you are intoxicated and moves forward with an arrest, you should start thinking about getting a defense together as quickly as possible.

Source: State of Illinois, "Standardized Field Sobriety Testing One-Day Refresher," accessed Dec. 16, 2016

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