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  • Writer's pictureAttorney Joseph Soler

What signs of impairment do police officers look for when pulling over a person and suspecting DUI?

In order to detain someone for a driving under the influence investigation, a police officer in Florida must have reasonable suspicion that the person is DUI. Some things that the police specifically look for are:

· Traffic violations, such as speeding, running a stop sign, driving at night with no lights

· Swerving while driving or driving across the center line

· An odor of alcohol on the breath

· Bloodshot, glassy, or watery eyes

· Admissions that the person was drinking or coming from a drinking establishment

· Receipts from a bar or restaurant indicating the person purchased alcoholic beverages

· An open container or empty alcoholic beverage in the car

· Staggering or difficulty walking

· Difficulty gathering driver license, registration, and insurance documents

Florida courts typically find that there is reasonable suspicion sufficient to justify detaining a person for a DUI investigation when there is a smell of alcohol and bloodshot, watery eyes coupled with erratic driving or traffic violations.

When is there not reasonable suspicion of DUI?

Florida courts usually require more than just the odor of alcohol to establish reasonable suspicion for an investigatory stop. Regardless of the smell of alcohol and blood shot watery eyes, if the person had no problem walking and communicating with the officer and there were no driving irregularities noted, courts have ruled there was not reasonable suspicion to detain for field sobriety exercises.

Every case is different

Whether a police offer had the requisite reasonable suspicion to request field sobriety exercises is a fact specific determination. Every case is completely different. Please contact us if you would like our DUI attorneys to review your case and determine if there are legal issues that could result in your DUI getting dropped or reduced to a reckless driving charge. Also, please visit our DUI page for more information about DUI law in Florida.

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