Don’t get caught off guard if you’re pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. It’s important to be prepared, even if you think it could never happen to you. Here’s what the police are paying attention to when they stop your car:
Traffic Violations or Alarming Behavior
Officers in the pursuit are on red alert for erratic behavior, like swerving or slowing down, and traffic violations such as speeding or running a stop sign. They’re also looking to see if you toss anything out of your windows before you pull over.
The Odor of Alcohol or Marijuana
When you open your window to give police your identifying information, the officer is scanning for the scent of cannabis in the car or alcohol on your breath.
Bloodshot Eyes and/or Light Sensitivity
Consuming marijuana or alcohol can often cause the eyes to become red, bloodshot, and sensitive to light. However, it’s not at all uncommon for individuals to have the same reaction to bright flashlights and headlights streaming into their car.
An Unkempt Appearance
Police officers often assume that a disheveled look means that the driver was previously out drinking or partying. They’ll be looking for things like wrinkled or stained clothes, tangled hair, and smeared makeup.
Slurred Speech Patterns or Confusion
Police will ask you questions about who you are, what you were doing before you got pulled over, where you were planning to go, and other invasive questions designed to intimidate you. You are not legally required to do anything other than provide your identifying information if you’re not under arrest.
If you do answer questions, law enforcement officers will be looking for changes in speech, like slurring words or stuttering. They’ll also be looking for confusion about details like where you were headed before you were stopped.
Evidence of a Crime
Police will also be searching as much as they can see of your car for any evidence that gives them probable cause to search your vehicle without a warrant. They can’t do anything other than look through windows to begin with, but if they see something while doing so that indicates a possible crime took place, they can launch a formal search of your car.
When to Contact a New York Lawyer
Don’t wait after being arrested for drunk driving in Brooklyn to contact a criminal defense attorney. Contact Mark Cossuto today for a consultation at (800) 609-4545.