blog DUI The Signs Police Look for to Spot DUIs

The Signs Police Look for to Spot DUIs

By Colorado Attorney-at-law on January 20, 2023

Drunk driving is one of the major causes of car accidents in the United States. Accidents caused by drunk driving are preventable, and that is why law enforcement officers are so keen on arresting DUI suspects.

Before a person is arrested for DUI charges, the arresting officer will look for various signs that confirm their suspicion. The most common is checking if the BAC percentage has exceeded a certain limit; however, this is not the only one. Read on for more physical and behavioral signs that police look for to spot DUIs.

Physical Symptoms

There are several physical symptoms a law enforcement officer will be looking for in a traffic stop. Some of these symptoms include:

  • They check to see if the driver has watery or bloodshot eyes
  • An odor of alcohol
  • Slurred or impaired speech due to excessive alcohol consumption
  • Flushed face

While these symptoms are commonly associated with alcohol consumption, some can be due to medical conditions exhibiting similar symptoms. Therefore, the police officer has to be careful when making a decision. If other people in the car have been drinking, alcohol odor might fill up the car and make it easy for the officer to decide. However, it might be challenging for the officer to determine whether the driver was also drinking, or another passenger was in the car. Apart from the signs of alcohol consumption, the office may also look for other physical signs of drug abuse, such as:

  • A coated tongue
  • Sweating and panting
  • Dilated pupils
  • Drug remnants on the driver’s nostrils or skin

If the police officer suspects the driver has been drinking or abusing drugs, they will call a drug recognition expert (DRE) to help make the final call. DREs are officers trained in recognized drug abuse, such as alcohol consumption and intoxication. They help make the final decision on whether the DUI suspects will be arrested.

Behavioral Symptoms

During the traffic stop, the police officer will closely monitor how the driver reacts and acts. Certain actions can tell whether the driver is drunk. For instance, if the driver fails to respond to questions timely, slurs words, and speaks nonsensically, the officer will suspect that the driver is under the influence. In that case, the officer will request the suspect to participate in a breath test or participate in field sobriety testing. Drivers who act aggressively and refuse to participate in these exercises are singled out and subjected to expansive DUI investigations. The driver’s vehicle is mostly fitted with a dashcam that records all events leading to the arrest. The driver will be allowed to review the footage when the case is filed in court.

Talking with the Officer

Driver conversations with the officer also help the officer assess the driver’s sobriety. The officer will ask the driver if they have been drinking or taking any drugs. Any answers given by the driver provide a probable cause of arrest. This is why drivers have to be very careful when conversing with an officer looking to spot DUI. Avoid making any incriminating statements that could weaken your defense. However, drivers should also avoid outrageous lies because they could be detrimental. For instance, if you have been drinking, you can say, “I have nothing to say regarding that matter.” Answers similar to that are easy to stand by should the test give incriminating results.

Let Our Summit County DUI Attorneys Help

If you are facing DUI charges in Colorado, our skilled and dedicated Summit County lawyers at Whitaker & Penix, LLC are ready to help. We understand Colorado laws and have what it takes to increase your chances of vindication. Contact our Breckenridge DUI attorneys by calling (970) 368-0602.

Posted in: DUI