Avoid Being Stopped For DUI – a Police Officer’s Tips




Ockham’s Razor – The Simplest Explanation is Usually the Correct One

In other words, if you want to avoid being stopped for Driving Under the Influence, then don’t drink and excursion. Rather simple, no?

However, in light of the fact that DUI laws are unfairly a one-size-fits-all legislation, there will likely be a time that most of us will be near or above the legal limit of .08% while driving. However, this does not necessarily average that we are intoxicated.

In fact, this was my motivation for creating this site. In my many years of law enforcement, I saw many drunk drivers. With ever increasing DUI penalties, and an ever decreasing “legal limit”, the penalties for a driver who had 3 beers in an hour is the same as the driver who had 10 or more beers in that same time period.

The real danger on the road is not the guy who had 4 beers with his dinner at the local steakhouse. No, the real danger is the highly intoxicated driver who drank a 12 pack before deciding to make a beer run and is bouncing off parked cars as he goes the wrong way on a one-way street. Should the penalties for these two drivers be the same? In the eyes of the law in most states, yes.

So in light of this fact, the simplest and easiest way to avoid being stopped for DUI is to simply not excursion after drinking.

Detecting Drunk Drivers – What the Police Look For

All police officers in the U.S. must attend some form of a police academy prior to becoming certified. During this time at the academy, and often by continuing education after academy graduation, police officers are taught to detect possible intoxicated drivers on the roadways.

In every state, an officer must possess reasonable suspicion to stop a motor means. Reasonable suspicion is the “legal standard in United States law that a person has been, is, or is about to be, engaged in criminal activity based on specific and articulable facts and inferences.” One could argue that a totality of the circumstances surrounding a DUI driver’s actions could constitute reasonable suspicion for a stop, already if no actual traffic violation was observed. This remains a topic often debated in each state’s respective courts, although I am inclined to agree with the argument.

For this reason, it’s much easier for an officer to justify the stop by observing an actual traffic violation, which is usually probable cause – a stricter and higher standard than reasonable suspicion.

Some of the shared traffic violations naturally associated with intoxicated drivers are:

* Driving at night without headlights.

* Failing to turn off high beams when approaching traffic.

* Driving with turn signal on when not making a turn.

* Driving drastically slower than the speed limit.

* Weaving – either into the opposing lane or the shoulder.

* Unnaturally wide turns.

* inconsistent braking.

Making an effort to consciously avoid these actions, and any other traffic violation, will greatly reduce the chances of you being stopped and suspected of DUI. The police need a reason to stop you, so don’t give them any.

Another consideration when driving in well lit areas (or during daylight) is your turn up. No, the police cannot stop someone based solely upon turn up, but I have made arrests after I decided to follow and observe someone based upon their turn up as they passed me.

You know how you can sometimes tell a highly intoxicated person by simply looking at them? So can the police. Keep that in mind.

This last point should go without saying, but from my experience I have learned that most people without any semblance of shared sense.

DO NOT STOP AT THE STORE.

Or gas stop, McDonald’s, and certainly not the police stop.

Yes, I have arrested DUI drivers after someone reported them from each of these locations. Yes, including the moron who stopped at my stop to complain about other drivers while he was inebriated.

Once you are out of your means and interacting with other people, it is much easier to detect signs of intoxication. Sometimes, these people you interact with will call the police and report your butt. So why give them the chance?

None of this is a guarantee that you won’t be stopped and arrested for DUI, but by following these shared sense tips you can reduce the chances of being arrested for DUI.




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