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How Do Drunk Drivers Get Caught?

drunk driving defense

As most people know, alcohol, good judgment, and good driving do not mix well. Even if a drunk driver doesn’t get in an accident, he or she can still end up needing a lawyer for a drunk driving defense.

But how do police catch drunk drivers? Perhaps unsurprisingly, drunk drivers are fairly easy to spot. Before thinking you can get away with driving under the influence, remember that police catch drunk drivers using a variety of methods, including:

DUI Checkpoints

Police officers in some districts set up roadblocks where officers stop drivers and ask them if they have been drinking. Checkpoints and roadblocks are common during holidays. High school graduation season is also a common time for checkpoints, since only 10 percent of licensed drivers are under 21, yet this age group is responsible for 17 percent of all fatal alcohol-related crashes. Checkpoints are legal in most states, though police departments are sometimes required to make the public aware of where and when the stop will be set up.

Routine Stops

Occasionally, police pull vehicles over for common reasons, like speeding or a broken taillight, and aren’t anticipating encountering a drunk driver. Once an officer speaks to a driver through the car window, they begin assessing the situation for signs of other laws being broken. Police officers may also suspect a driver is drunk during a routine stop if the person:


    • Slurs their words
    • Fumbles with their hands
    • Has open containers in the vehicle or smells of alcohol
    • Fails to answer questions promptly or accurately
    • Has difficulty getting out of the vehicle
    • Has a flushed face or bloodshot eyes

With so many obvious physical and behavioral signs that can indicate a person is drunk, it is difficult to hide intoxication from a police officer.

Waiting and Watching

Often, police officers can tell a driver is drunk simply by the way they handle a vehicle, so they keep a lookout for drunk drivers while on patrols. Police officers believe that if a driver displays the following behaviors, there is at least a 35% chance that their blood alcohol content is over 0.08%. A person might be pulled over if they exhibit:


    • Difficulty staying in the correct lane
    • Improper or choppy acceleration and braking
    • Problems with being aware of their surroundings, such as disobeying traffic signals
    • Poor judgment, such as following unusually close to a vehicle or failing to turn in a turning lane

When to Seek an Attorney for Drunk Driving Defense

If you’ve found yourself facing criminal charges for driving drunk, get a DUI attorney as soon as possible. Finding a good lawyer quickly can help you build a better drunk driving defense. For more information, contact Jared Justice today.

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