You tell yourself that you will not get a DUI because you are a safe, careful driver. Even if you have had a few drinks, you trust yourself to obey the traffic laws.
After all, the police usually discover that you are drunk when they talk to you during a traffic stop. That’s also when they can use a breath test to gain important evidence. If you do not give them a reason to pull you over in the first place, you don’t have to worry about it.
This is the outlook that many drivers have. However, there’s one key problem with it: The police have plenty of reasons to pull you over. These include:
- Following too close to the car in front of you or tailgating them
- Breaking the speed limit, even just by a few miles per hour
- Getting distracted by your cellphone while you drive
- Driving with a broken headlight
- Having a malfunctioning turn signal
- Failing to use a turn signal
- Making minor mistakes, such as not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign when there are no other cars around
- Having cracks in your windshield
- Having anything in the car that may obstruct your vision, such as something hanging from your mirror
- Changing lanes when you do not have a dotted line
- Changing lanes without using your turn signal
- Driving too far under the speed limit
- Driving in the left lane of the highway when there is no one in the right lane
- Not wearing your seat belt
They could also pull you over for anything that looks questionable, even if it is not actually illegal. For instance, maybe you have a glass bottle of kombucha in the car. You take a drink at a stoplight while a police officer is watching. That’s not illegal, but the officer mistakenly thinks that it is a beer bottle. He or she may pull you over on that suspicion alone.
The point is that most police officers can find a reason to pull over almost any car at any time. Driving safely is important and smart, but they can usually find some minor detail if they want to initiate a stop. Even the smallest mistake could have huge ramifications if you are actually intoxicated.
If you do get arrested, make sure you understand your legal defense options and your rights. Everyone deserves a fair chance in the legal system, regardless of the accusations they face, and that’s just as true after a DUI arrest as any other crime.