New Kent DUI Stops

In order to pull a car over and conduct a potential DUI stop there will be a number of indicators of impairment that officers will be looking for. The main indicators that officers look for are sudden changes in speed, driving at an unusually slow speed, and swerving out of the lane. If any of these indicators are present, law enforcement is likely to pull over the vehicle and conduct a stop.

During the course of a stop, a person needs to understand they have certain rights and be aware of the process that a stop is likely to follow. Then, once the stop is complete and the individual is granted access to a phone they should consult with a New Kent DUI lawyer to assist them further in protecting their rights and building a strong defense.

DUI Stop-Process

Before stopping a driver for a possible DUI in New Kent, the officer looks for an indication of a possible DUI through the operation of the motor vehicle. Once the officer decides that there is a possible DUI, the officer will turn on the lights and siren to indicate that the driver needs to pull over.

When the officer approaches the vehicle, they will inspect the person and the visible areas of the vehicle to determine whether there are other indicators of impairment before speaking with the driver. At this stage, officers are searching for bloodshot eyes, facial flushes, and/or glazed eyes. They will also note their scent to determine whether they or something in their vehicle emits an alcohol odor, whether their clothes are disheveled, whether there is vomit in the car, and whether there are open containers in the vehicle.

Interacting With Law Enforcement

The officers will then ask the driver questions to note their reaction to the questions. If they cannot answer the questions or have difficulty responding, those are further indicators of impairment. The office will also take note if their speech is slurred as it is a possible sign of impairment. The questions asked will typically be about their movements before being stopped and whether they had any alcohol before they were stopped in New Kent.

If the officer believes that they are not under the influence, they will normally allow them to drive away. If the officer believes that they need to investigate further, they may ask them to perform field sobriety tests. A person does not have to participate in these tests, they have the right to refuse. However, if they do not participate, the officer is not prohibited from still determining that there is probable cause to arrest them for DUI.

Field Sobriety Testing

The first field sobriety tests in a DUI stop in New Kent are generally counting tests. The officer will give the driver a range of numbers to count forward and backward. They may do the same with the alphabet. The third test may be the fingertip test in which they touch their thumb to their fingertips on the same hand while counting.

If, after those initial tests, the officer still believes that they could be impaired,  they may ask them to submit to other field sobriety tests. The standard FSTs are the walk and turn test, the horizontal gaze nystagmus, and the one-leg stand test. The horizontal gaze nystagmus requires the officers to hold a pen, their finger, or a light and ask the driver to follow it with their eyes. The officer is checking to see the way their eyes move, if they can follow the object, and if their eyes jump at any given point.

On the walk and turn test, the officer is ensuring that they can follow the test of heel and toe, taking the nine steps down, and turning around to walk in a straight line. The one-leg stand test helps the officer determine if they can balance. All of those tests are used in a DUI stop in New Kent to determine if the person was impaired while operating their vehicle.

Preliminary Breath Testing

Last, the officer will ask the driver to submit to the preliminary breath test, which requires them to blow into a breathalyzer machine. If their results are 0.08 or higher, it is automatic probable cause for a DUI arrest, in which someone should invoke their right to speak with a DUI lawyer.

New Kent DUI Stops