What Is Erratic Driving?
Driving under the influence of alcohol is not only dangerous, it’s illegal. Alcohol can affect a driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, and erratic driving is often a cause of alcohol consumption. In many DUI cases, a police officer will witness this type of behavior and stop a vehicle to determine if a DUI investigation should be conducted.
Understanding The Four Categories
Police officers are training to look for drivers who may be conducting the following: speeding and stopping issues, failure to maintain lane, judgment errors and lack of vigilance. All of these categories fall under the umbrella term, erratic driving. Speeding and stopping issues may include a driver who is going too fast or too slow, fails to stop behind designated crosswalks and intersection lines and braking or stopping a vehicle for no reason.
Failure to maintain lane simply means that a driver does not maintain their proper lane position, such as swerving, drifting within their lane, weaving through traffic or going into other lanes. Judgment errors really equate to bad driving decisions, which may include following behind vehicles too closely, illegal turns and even driving on unauthorized roads. When it comes to a lack of vigilance, this means that a driver is not paying attention to their surroundings. Examples may include driving at night without headlights, failing to signal when appropriate, driving into oncoming traffic and hitting objects.
Being Stopped By Police
If a police officer witnesses your vehicle conducting any combination of these categories, he or she may legally stop you. Upon approaching your vehicle, a police officer will look for signs of intoxication such as the smell of alcohol, open alcohol containers, slurred speech, etc. If the police officer observes signs of intoxication, it is legal at this point to conduct a DUI investigation.