An officer may pull a person over for any driving violation but not all traffic violations are signs of intoxication for purposes of a DUI in Colorado.
For example, suppose an individual is driving down the road at a high rate of speed and then does a California stop at an intersection. Most people would think that the officer should reasonably assume that this person could be drunk, but the research shows that none of the things that this person did indicate intoxication.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has researched the way that people drive when they are intoxicated and how their driving is effected. This organization is responsible for the field sobriety tests that people have to take on the side of the road. Here are the symptoms that they have identified as being indicative of intoxication:
1. Turning with a wide radius – 65% likelihood of having intoxication above .10
2. Straddling a lane marker – 65% likelihood of having intoxication above .10
3. Appearing to be drunk – 60% likelihood of having intoxication above .10
4. Almost striking an object – 60% likelihood of having intoxication above .10
5. Weaving – 60% likelihood of having intoxication above .10
6. Driving on places other than the road – 55% likelihood of having intoxication above .10
7. Swerving – 55% likelihood of having intoxication above .10
8. Driving too slowly – 50% likelihood of having intoxication above .10
9. Stopping without a reason – 50% likelihood of having intoxication above .10
10. Drifting – 50% likelihood of having intoxication above .10
When looking at these numbers, keep in mind that more than one violation will increase the likelihood that the person is intoxicated. The typical way that officers deal with multiple violations is that they add 10% to the highest likelihood. So if the person is straddling a lane marker and the person is drifting, the officer will assume that there is a 75% likelihood that the driver is intoxicated by alcohol.
This is an interesting number because it works both for and against the police. For example, if there is a 60% likelihood that the person is intoxicated, then there is a 40% likelihood that the person is NOT intoxicated. Though 60% sounds high, that number means that 40 people out of 100 really were not intoxicated.
If you have any questions about what these numbers mean or how to argue your DUI, you should contact the best Denver DUI Attorney available to you to talk about the facts of your case.
The information in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as the creation of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice, please contact an Attorney.