Meriden DUI Stop Process
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration trains Meriden police officers on what to search for when stopping a driver for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). The training includes providing the officers with a manual of driving infractions that are indicative of driving under the influence.
Most driving infractions, however, do not fit textbook circumstances and there are many incidents that occur while driving that could result in a driving infraction that is indicative of a DUI but is not caused by a DUI.
Avoiding a foreign object or darting animal in the street, driving while over-tired, becoming distracted by an event occurring in the vehicle, such as a child crying or a bookbag’s contents falling onto the floor, or an insect entering a vehicle could all result in a driver momentarily losing control of the vehicle, veering into another lane, stopping suddenly, or considerably reducing speed without an apparent reason.
Any of those actions may meet a textbook example for an officer to suspect DUI, but the reality differs significantly. Consult a skilled DUI attorney that can answer any questions you may have about the Meriden DUI stop process.
How DUI Stops Are Initiated
The Meriden DUI stop process can be initiated in multiple ways, a driver may be stopped during a mobile checkpoint or they could be pulled over on the side of the road based on a police officer’s suspicion. In Connecticut, both are legally accepted methods for detaining a driver to determine whether they are driving is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
Mobile checkpoints are temporary police traffic stops that are unrelated to suspicion of any specific person. The locations for these stops are published ahead of the date and time of the stop; however, getting the location in advance requires drivers to go to specific websites to ascertain the time and date of a checkpoint location.
Accordingly, many drivers remain unaware of where the mobile checkpoints are until they come upon one. At mobile checkpoints, all passing vehicles are stopped and the drivers are briefly questioned. Drivers that are suspected of being under the influence are further detained and may be asked to perform field sobriety tests.
The most common DUI stop does not stem from mobile checkpoints but is typically the result of a police officer stopping a driver on the side of the road because of a driving infraction that is suggestive of being under the influence.
Seeking Signs of Intoxication
During Meriden DUI stop process, the officer will physically observe the driver and the visible contents of their vehicle to determine whether it appears that they have the physical signs of intoxication or has alcohol containers or drug paraphernalia in the vehicle.
Common physical signs of intoxication include the scent of alcohol on the driver’s breath or in their vehicle and red eyes. Additionally, slurred speech, failure to follow directions, and confusion are also signs of intoxication that police officers are looking for when stopping a vehicle on the side of the road.
Once a police officer driver is impaired and requests that the person complete field sobriety tests, the driver is legally permitted to refuse to do so. Police officers do not commonly notify drivers that it is optional, but the lack of notification does not make it mandatory. Since field sobriety tests can be failed fairly easily, it is recommended that drivers refuse them when offered.