The Police Officer’s Observations of Your Driving

If you have been arrested for DUI, you might be wondering exactly what you were doing to make the police suspect you were driving under the influence and whether their assumption was legitimate. A Milwaukee DUI attorney might be able to answer for your specific case. In general, your driving behavior is the most critical factor, and the prosecution is likely to make claims about your “weaving” and “speeding” to prove the charges.

The science behind determining whether certain driving behaviors correlate with driving under the influence is far from perfect. Government studies indicate that statistically, these driving behaviors do not rise to the level of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the person was in fact under the influence. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study outlined several behaviors for officers to look for to detect motorists driving while impaired, but because this science is so inexact, your Milwaukee DUI attorney may be able to counter the arguments and argue that you were more likely sober.

The NHTSA Detection Guide identifies the following behaviors for officers to watch out for:

1)      Difficulty maintaining proper lane position;

2)      Difficulties braking and maintaining speed;

3)      Vigilance problems; and

4)      Difficulty exercising judgment.

If a police officer observes a driver weaving across the lanes, the probability of DUI is expected to be more than 50 percent. If an officer observes that behavior plus one of the other cues, the probability is expected to be at least 65 percent. Some cues, such as accelerating for no reason and swerving, have individual probabilities of more than 70 percent. Any two cues at the same time indicate a probability at least 50 percent. Generally, if a driver exhibits more than one of the behaviors, the probability of DUI is increased substantially.

Click here for more information regarding what police officers look for when patrolling for drivers who are under the influence.

If you think your DUI arrest can be challenged on these grounds, or simply have more questions about your DUI arrest, contact an experienced Milwaukee DUI defense attorney at the law firm of Vanden Heuvel & Dineen for a free initial consultation.