The Law Office of David A. Carroll

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How do the police prove you drove while under the influence?

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2021 | DUI |

When a Florida police officer spots someone driving aggressively or unpredictably, they may pull that person over. During the traffic stop, they will try to determine whether the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

When an officer suspects chemical impairment, they will try to gather evidence to support their suspicions. What tactics do police officers use to demonstrate intoxication in a driver?

They know to ask the right questions

A police officer concerned about impairment will likely ask if you have had anything to drink as soon as they pull you over. The way that you answer could give the officer reason to continue the interaction or even probable cause to arrest you.

Admitting that you have had too much to drink could be all it takes for the officer to arrest you. If you admit to having even a single alcoholic beverage or if the police officer smells alcohol, they may ask you to exit the vehicle.

They will have you perform a field sobriety test

Once you have admitted to having a drink or the officer has reason to suspect you lied about drinking, they may require that you perform field sobriety tests. This involves having you step out of your vehicle and perform physical tasks so that the officer can gauge your impairment.

These tests may include following their finger with your eyes or walking in a straight line. If you fail any of these tests, the officer can use your performance as probable cause to request a chemical test.

They will administer a chemical breath test

When an officer has probable cause to suspect someone of driving under the influence (DUI), they can require that the driver perform a chemical breath test. If the results of the test show that the driver is over the legal limit for their age and license type, then the police officer will likely arrest them on the spot.

Although it may seem like this process is very good at identifying truly impaired drivers, that is not the case. Anything from anxiety to certain medical conditions could lead to someone failing field sobriety tests and even a chemical breath test. Understanding the evidence that police gather can help you plan to defend yourself against a DUI charge.