Many people who drink and drive believe that they will be able to evade police officers who are out on the roads. This belief could not be more false. Police officers are able to quickly home in on intoxicated drivers on just about any roadway.
There are several methods that law enforcement officers use to detect drunk drivers. The three most common include field sobriety tests, blood alcohol tests and the officer’s observation. We will go over these methods so that you better understand how cops detect drunk driving.
Field sobriety tests
When a police officer pulls a car to the side of the road, it is possible that they will conduct a few field sobriety tests. These are tests composed of simple tasks that are difficult, if not impossible, to perform while intoxicated. When you perform these tasks, the officer will check for dilated pupils, lack of coordination or other signs of intoxication. Failing a field sobriety test could prompt the officer to check your blood alcohol content.
Blood alcohol tests
Blood alcohol tests are a more scientifically advanced method of assessing sobriety or lack thereof. By taking a sample of a driver’s breath, urine or blood, a cop can accurately measure the amount of alcohol that the driver has consumed. Usually, police officers will have drivers that they suspect are intoxicated to blow into a device called a breathalyzer. The breathalyzer lets the officer know whether the driver’s blood alcohol content is below or above the legal limit.
The simplest way for a police officer to detect drunk driving is through the power of observation. There are a few common indicators of drunk driving, such as swerving in and out of lanes, speeding or driving too slowly and disregarding traffic signals and. If a driver pulls you over, they will also try to observe whether you have dilated pupils, red eyes, slurred speech and smell of alcohol. An officer who observes these signs has the right to pull over, interrogate and even arrest the driver.