Alexandria DUI Stops
A driver can be stopped in Alexandria for any traffic violation. However, if an officer sees a driver weaving in and out of traffic, that could indicate possible impairment. Even if a motor vehicle operator’s driving does not rise to the level of a traffic infraction, an officer can pull them over if they suspect they are driving under the influence.
Law enforcement must have reasonable, articulable suspicion that some criminal or illegal activity is taking place. Another common indicator of impaired driving is when someone is traveling ten or more miles per hour below the speed limit.
Those who choose to drive under the influence of dugs or alcohol tend to driver slower be more careful and avoid suspicion. However, doing so typically draws the attention of an officer. Courts have routinely held that if a person is seen driving 10 or more miles per hour below the limit, that is enough to justify a stop for an inquiry about DUI. You should seek guidance from an experienced attorney if you have questions about Alexandria DUI stops.
Typical DUI Stop Process in Alexandria
In Alexandria, the police will activate their emergency lights to indicate that a driver needs to stop. Once they do so, the officer will approach and ask for things like their license and registration. It is only after an officer approaches a driver suspected of DUI that they will start making observations about whether they detect bloodshot glassy eyes, slurred speech, an odor of alcohol, or any other signs of impairment.
If the officer suspects a DUI, they will typically ask the driver if they were drinking prior to the stop. If a person responds in the affirmative, that certainly will warrant further DUI investigation.
There are three standardized field tests that law enforcement may use to determine a driver’s level of sobriety. The horizontal gaze nystagmus allows officers to check a driver’s eyes to see if they track a pen smoothly as it is waved back and forth in front their face. Police may also use the nine-step walk and turn test as well as the one leg stand to evaluate a driver’s balance, which is easily imparied by alcohol consumption. Each of these three tests has been standardized and approved by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Authority, or NHTSA.
Some officers also conduct other evaluations that they believe are useful, such as a finger dexterity test that requires a driver to touch the tips of their fingers to their thumb. Police may also ask someone to recite the alphabet forwards or backwards. However, the most common sobriety tests conducted during Alexandria DUI stops are those three which are standardized by NHTSA.
Searching the Vehicle
Only certain circumstances may warrant an officer to search someone’s car. The odor of marijuana always gives police probable cause to search, but most Alexandria DUI stops do not involve vehicle searches prior to an arrest. However, if law enforcement sees an open container of alcohol in plain view, they might have justification to search the rest of the car. For more information about common practices during DUI stops, consider reaching out to a skilled attorney today.