THE 20 DRIVING CLUES POLICE LOOK FOR, WHEN LOOKING FOR DRUNK DRIVERS…
How many times have you wondered what the police look for when they’re driving around at night looking for drunk drivers?
And how you can avoid looking like one?
The following list of DUI driving “symptoms” (or cues), is found in the training publication issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA DOT HS-805-711). The publication booklet is widely used in training patrol officers to spot drunk drivers on the roads.
After each cue is a percentage figure which, according to NHTSA, indicates the chances that a driver is under the influence of alcohol. For example, NHTSA’s research indicates that “the chances are 65 out of 100 that a driver who is straddling a center line or lane line has a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .10% or higher.
- Turning with a wide radius or drifting during a curve 65%
- Straddling center line or lane line 65%
- Appearing to be “impaired” (whatever THAT means!) 60%
- Almost striking another vehicle or object 60%
- Weaving across lane lines 60%
- Driving on other than the designated roadway 55%
- Swerving 55%
- Slow speed (10+ mph under speed limit) 50%
- Stopping problems (too far, too close or too jerky) 50%
- Drifting 50%
- Following too closely 45%I
- Improper Lane Change 45%
- Tires on center line or land line 45%
- Braking erratically (or for no apparent reason) 45%
- Driving into oncoming, driving into crossing traffic, driving wrong way 45%
- Signaling inconsistent with driving actions or failure to signal 40%
- Stopping for no apparent reason 35%
- Illegal or improper turn (too fast, too sharp, too jerky) 35%
- Accelerating or decelerating for no apparent reason 30%
- Driving without headlights at night 30%
What you don’t know is that police officers are taught to use a simple, non-scientific “formula” for multiple cues: “Weaving plus any other cue (ex: varying speed) = at least 65%. Any other two cues together = at least 50%.
Of course this formula is hardly scientific or accurate. If it was even close to accurate, then almost half the drivers who tailgate you every day (45%) are driving drunk – and half the time you don’t brake smoothly you are driving drunk, too!
You may ask yourself: How can a driver “appear to be impaired” to a policeman following that driver, when that policeman is driving 100 feet behind? Can the policeman smell alcohol on the driver’s breath?
Isn’t it strange that speeding — one of the most common reasons for pulling over a DUI suspect — is not even on the list!
Below is the link to the US Dept. Of Transportation NHTSA “DWI Detection Guide”:
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