Before breath test, impairment often revealed by driver behavior - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Before breath test, impairment often revealed by driver behavior


At a police checkpoint or during a pullover, the Breathalyzer will give away the drunk driver. But before the impaired driver is stopped, several clues may get the attention of an officer.

If a car is making a wide turn and is "drifting", there's a 75 percent chance that the driver is impaired.

That's according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which pinpointed behaviors that help cops identify DUI cases.

We asked folks at Lucky's on South Meridian Street what behaviors they think could bring a pullover.

"Open container, swerving, speeding and swerving over the line, running a red light and not obeying the traffic signs," they said.

And they are all right. But some motoring moves mean more than others.

For example, almost hitting a car plus straddling a lane marker equals a 50 to 75 percent chance of DUI.

Driving more than 10 miles per hour under the speed limit plus following too closely can mean up to a 90 percent chance that driver is drunk.

At a green light, if a driver waits too long to pull out or signals left when they're really turning right, the experts say that's a 65 percent indicator of DUI.

"Every 51 minutes in the U.S., we lose a person to someone driving impaired, said Marie Greger-Smith of Advocates Against Impaired Driving. "One life is too many."

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