February 15, 2012 By Matthew Wallin

While any good California DUI attorney will tell you that appearing to be impaired while driving isn’t enough for a police officer to pull you over, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has put out a “DUI Detection Guide” to help police identify impaired drivers. Ultimately, a police officer needs to observe you committing a traffic violation to pull you over, but these four main behaviors will have them on high alert.

  1. Problems Maintaining Proper Lane Position – Weaving, weaving outside the lane, straddling the lane line, swerving, making wide turns, drifting, almost hitting another vehicle or object;
  2. Speed and Braking Problems – stopping too far/short/jerky, accelerating or slowing for no apparent reason, varying speed, speed more than 10 M.P.H. slower than the speed limit;
  3. Vigilance (alertness) Problems – driving the wrong way down a one-way street, responding slowly to traffic signals, slow or failure to respond to police signals, stopping in lane without an apparent reason, driving at night without headlines on, signal issues (failure to signal, signaling inconsistent with action);
  4. Judgment Problems – Following too closely, Improper or unsafe lane changes, illegal/improper turns, driving on restricted sections of the road, pulling over incorrectly when directed by police, display of inappropriate or unusual actions of belligerence, appearance of impairment.

Whether or not a police officer had reasonable suspicion to justify stopping you is an issue that you must discuss with your Orange County DUI attorney. Experts have calculated that the actual costs of a DUI conviction can far exceed $10,000, not to mention the inconvenience of having your driving privileges suspended. Just because you have been charged with a DUI doesn’t mean hope is lost. There are ways that an experienced criminal defense attorney can fight to have the charges reduced or even dismissed. But there is virtually no chance of successfully fighting a DUI conviction on your own.

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