As we discussed in a
post earlier this year, a police officer in Texas needs to have a reasonable
suspicion a crime is being committed before stopping a vehicle to question
the driver and investigate further. The National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration has published a list of some of the visual cues police
officers should look for that may indicate a driver is intoxicated and
will justify a
Weaving, or moving back and forth within the lane or across multiple lanes,
is probably the classic drunk driving indicator. Other visual indicators
related to lane position include crossing or straddling the center line,
driving on the shoulder and turning with an unusually wide radius.
Visual indicators related to speed and braking include driving excessively
slow; suddenly slowing down or accelerating; stopping far short of an
intersection or in the middle of the intersection; and stopping too abruptly.
Other indicators include making illegal turns or failing to signal turns;
driving the wrong way on a one-way street; failing to yield the right
of way; and driving at night without headlights.
Those who are charged with drunk driving in Texas face serious penalties
if convicted. A lack of reasonable basis for the stop can provide grounds
to dismiss the charges. This defense can sometimes be based on a review
of the arrest record, the police dashboard video recording or cross-examination
of the arresting officer at trial. An aggressive DWI defense approach
could be the best strategy to fight drunk driving charges.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "The Visual Detection
of DWI Motorists," accessed June 6, 2015