If you are pulled over and suspected of driving while impaired, you may be taken into custody even if your blood alcohol content is under the legal limit. This is because it is still possible for a driver to be impaired even while under that limit. Let’s talk about the process that an officer goes through as soon as a traffic stop is initiated.

What Led to the Traffic Stop?

An officer may pull a driver off for any number of reasons. Failing to maintain your lane, running a red light or failing to stop at a stop sign could be signs of impaired driving. When the officer walks to your car, he or she will be checking to see if you have bloodshot eyes, slurred speech or a smell of alcohol coming from your vehicle. These are all common signs that a driver has used alcohol before or while operating a motor vehicle.

Do You Appear Impaired?

If you have slurred speech, have trouble standing or are combative with an officer, it could be an indication that you are under the influence of alcohol or another substance. In this case, an officer will most likely take you into custody and charge you with impaired driving. Assuming that your blood alcohol content was below the legal limit, your attorney may be able to argue that your slurred speech or trouble standing stemmed from a medical condition.

Zero Tolerance Laws Apply to Those Under 21

Drivers who are under the age of 21 may not consume any alcohol prior to getting behind the wheel of an automobile. Many states allow officers to charge drivers with a DUI or DWI for having a blood alcohol content of .02 percent or higher. Additionally, commercial drivers may be considered under the influence of alcohol if their blood alcohol content is .04 percent or higher.

Regardless of your blood alcohol content, a police officer may charge a driver with a DUI if he or she believes a driver is impaired. While the charge may be reduced or waived at trial, it is the job of the officer to make a judgment call as to a driver’s condition during a traffic stop. To get started on your case contact us today!