In recent decades, both private advocacy groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and government agencies have waged a very public campaign to educate motorists about the dangers of drinking and driving in an effort to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities caused by drunk driving accidents on the nation’s roadways. Their efforts seem to have paid off as the number of drunk driving accidents has steadily declined over the past twenty years. Along with reducing the number of injuries and deaths, the campaign has also resulted in tougher drinking and driving laws in most states, including Nebraska. If also means that law enforcement officers have been trained to recognize the most common signs of an intoxicated driver, such as:
- Acceleration – acceleration that is either too quick or too slow from a stop light or stop sign or as the vehicle is exiting a parking lot or turning a corner.
- Weaving – a vehicle that is weaving in and out of traffic without any apparent reason.
- Improper distance – this may mean the vehicle is tailgating or is way too far behind the vehicle in front.
- Stopping – sudden stops without an apparent reason or erratic breaking.
- Lights – driving at night without remember to turn the headlights on or driving with the bright lights on without a need for them.
- Close calls – almost colliding with objects such as a trash can or telephone pole.
- Drifting –drifting from over the lane lines and then a rapid correction as the driver realizes he or she was drifting.
- Stop lights – a slow response – or no response – at stop light or stop sign when it’s the driver’s turn to go.
- Speed limit – speeding can be a sign of intoxication but driving considerably under the posted speed limit is also an indication of driving under the influence.
- Turns – a quick turn, particularly one without signaling.
Any one of these driving behaviors alone may not indicate that the driver is driving while intoxicated; however, if a police officer observes two or more of these behaviors and/or has additional reasons to suspect that the driver is intoxicated it is more than likely the vehicle will be stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence.