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What Do the Police Do During a DUI Stop?

Being pulled over for any reason can be intimidating, especially if you do not know what is going to happen next. If you are stopped on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol, the police may follow a general procedure.

The common procedure for a DUI stop typically involves the following:

Reasonable Suspicion

Police officers can pull you over to conduct a traffic stop based on any reasonable suspicion of a crime, including suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol. This can include swerving between lanes and driving too slow or too fast.

If you are pulled over based on one of these factors, remain calm. Pull over in a safe, well-lit area.

Field Sobriety Tests

If the police officer suspects you may be under the influence of alcohol, you may be asked to perform one or more field sobriety tests. These can include:

  • Tracking eyeball movement with an object

  • Walk and turn tests (walking in a straight line)

  • Standing on one leg

  • Finger to nose

  • Balance tests

In addition to a field test, you may also be asked to take a preliminary alcohol screening test, such as a breathalyzer test.

Then, if the police officer believes they have enough evidence to arrest you, they may take you into custody for a DUI.

Chemical Tests

Following your arrest, you can be required to take a chemical test of either blood or urine at a medical facility. The arresting officer may transport you thereafter your arrest to have this test performed by a professional. Chemical tests are much more serious than field sobriety or preliminary alcohol screening tests.

If you are pulled over by a police officer and walked through these procedures, the officer’s dash and body cams should record each part of the process.

DUI stops and arrests are serious but can be confusing. Each part of the process is designed so the police officer can gather evidence in order to successfully charge you with a DUI, but it is possible to challenge aspects of this process in court.