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How do the police decide if a driver might be impaired?

Virginia has a drunk driving problem. While the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles indicates that accident-related fatalities declined in 2018 as a whole, fatal accidents involving alcohol actually increased.

Given all of the emphasis on the dangers of drunk driving that is constantly broadcast to drivers, the fact that there was a 12% increase in alcohol-related fatalities on the road between 2017 and 2018 alone, you can bet that Virginian authorities will be on the watch for suspected drunk drivers at every turn.

What tips the police off that you may have been drinking and informs their decision to ask you for a Breathalyzer? They look for the following signs:

  • You are weaving over the yellow line or onto the sidewalk.
  • You steer around objects far too wide — or not wide enough.
  • You make abrupt turns, without your signal.
  • You put on your turn signals and then forget to turn.
  • You are driving far too slowly or stop at a corner where there’s no light or sign.
  • You keep hitting your brakes for no apparent reason.
  • You keep driving around the same area as if uncertain where you are.
  • You “look drunk” by leaning too far into the windshield or seem to be actually drinking something while you’re behind the wheel.

Any of these conditions could cause a police officer to stop your car and start asking questions. If, by any chance, you happen to have any of the telltale signs of intoxication (like glassy eyes, slurred speech or the odor of alcohol on your breath or clothes), you may very well be asked to take a Breathalyzer test. If it’s positive, that spells trouble.

The best way to protect against a drunk driving charge is to avoid drinking and driving. If, however, you find yourself facing charges, the smart thing to do is to stay silent and call a defense attorney for help.

Do You Find Yourself In Need Of A Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer?

If you've recently found yourself in need of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Virginia you should speak with us as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Fairfax, Virginia law office at 703.277.2811 to schedule your free consultation. We help clients throughout Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia and look forward to helping you.