What Do Officers Look for During a Tempe DUI Stop?

Have you ever been pulled over for a DUI in Arizona or asked to complete a field sobriety test when you were completely sober? As Tempe DUI lawyers, we do occasionally have people ask why they were pulled over or what they did to make an officer suspect they’d been drinking. Although being pulled over for potential drunk driving rarely results in more than just an inconvenience for a sober driver, there have been cases in history where a sober driver was mistakenly arrested for a DUI even though he or she had not had a drop to drink!

Part of the reason for this is that Arizona police officers must rely on some subjective factors when deciding if you’ve been drinking and driving. If you've ever been pulled over for potential drunk driving, whether you were drinking or not, the officer involved will try to evaluate your intoxication a few ways:

  • Before an officer pulls you over, he or she will look for any erratic driving behavior that might indicate you are driving under the influence in Arizona, such as weaving in and out of the lane, speeding, running a red light, etc.
  • Once you have been pulled over, or if you are at the scene of an accident, the officer will look for physical signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech, the smell of alcohol, blood shot eyes, etc. 
  • While initially speaking with you, the officer will look for any lack of coordination or confusion while you search for your license and registration, or even as you get out of your vehicle. 
  • During field sobriety testing, the officer will continue to assess the physical signs of drunkenness with certain tests, such as walking a straight line. 
  • Finally, you may be asked to perform a blood test or breathalyzer test to attempt to gauge your blood alcohol level and be placed under arrest for DUI.

There are many factors that influence an officer's decision to arrest you for DUI in Tempe or affect the results of field testing. If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Tempe, don't wait to speak with one of our experienced Tempe criminal defense lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We look forward to meeting with you and discussing your specific DUI arrest, your rights, and your options. Also, don’t forget to request your free copy of our must-read book, DUI's in Arizona - What You Must Know.