A couple of friends of mine play cards every week or so on a thursday night. Maybe we eat some food and drink a few beers.
Nothing major. No big party.
I was one of 2 people left at the end of the might around midnight so as I took off to drive home I noticed a few cars haulin ass down the street and probably coming from the local bar Mammoth Road Club. Thinking that they’ll probably get pulled over if they continue driving like that I had no urge to chase after them like I was going to do something about it.
I was only about 2 miles from my house and I get pulled over by a local cop that pulled out of a side street. No biggie I thought. Just a routine stop. Well after a short argument and a full on drunk test the cop let me go. I started to get nervous that the 2 beers I drank hours might show up on some breathalyzer test I might have to take. Luckily enough I got to drive home without much more incident.
Later that night I thought about what the hell I could have done to show suspicion like I was drinking. Hey if I’m sober then why worry. WRONG!
The problem with being singled out of traffic as a possible DUI is that the officer has already formed certain expectations: He is psychologically predisposed to “see” what he expects to see – and he expects to see an inebriated person behind the wheel. So reddish eyes from fatigue, alcohol on the breath from a single drink, and nervous fumbling with your wallet trying to get your driver’s license will be seen as corraborating these suspicions. And then your future is going to depend upon performing well on field sobriety tests. Tests which are notoriously difficult for anyone to pass.
So how do you avoid being pulled over in the first place? Well, it helps to know exactly what the police are looking for. Most of them have been taught what driving symptoms indicate the relative probability that the driver is intoxicated. This training is usually based upon research conducted by the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and reproduced in a booklet intended primarily for law enforcement, “Guide for Detecting Drunk Drivers at Night“. The booklet contains a “DUI Detection Guide“, which identifies the 19 most common and reliable initial indicators of drunk driving – along with the percentage probability that the driver exhibiting the symptom is, in fact, under the influence.
By the way, watch the new Dracut Police station webcam