Michael A. Ferraro, Esq., P.C.
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Officers may confuse distraction with intoxication 

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2021 | DWI defense |

As a general rule, police officers need to have a reason to pull a car over before they give the driver a breath test or ask them to do field sobriety tests. They cannot simply pull over random cars to check for intoxication.

As such, the police are always looking for signs of intoxication that they can use for a traffic stop. One problem with this is that they may confuse something like distraction with impairment, which can lead to a stop when you’re actually sober.

The connection between the two

After all, the two areas have a lot of overlap and have been considered in numerous studies. Some have even found that distraction is more dangerous than intoxication and that a combination of both is the most dangerous of all. But it is clear that distracted drivers and impaired drivers may make some of the same mistakes, such as swerving over the centerline, following too closely, or rolling through a stop sign.

For instance, maybe you have your kids in the car with you. One of your children starts yelling about a toy that they dropped. You try to look back to see if you can reach it, and your hand slightly pulls the wheel so that you drive onto the shoulder. You correct it, but a police officer is already pulling you over, assuming that you are intoxicated and that that is why you almost drove off of the road.

 What if you’re arrested?

If you do get arrested on drunk driving allegations, no matter why that traffic stop was originally made, you definitely need to know what your legal options are.