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Three Phases of DWI Detection | Hayes Law Firm, PLLC

Three Phases Of DWI Detection

Phase 1 – Vehicle In Motion

There are generally three Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) detection phases. Phase 1 is usually the vehicle in motion. Phase 2 of the DWI detection is the personal contact phase; and Phase 3 is pre-arrest screening.

The Vehicle in Moton phase involves the Officer’s observations of how the vehicle is being operated. Specific erratic driving behaviors are demonstrated by a driver with a BAC in excess of .08. These erratic driving problems include:

Problems Maintaining Proper Lane Position

  • Weaving
  • Swerving
  • Weaving across lane lines
  • Straddling a lane line
  • Drifting
  • Turning with a Wide Radius

Problems with Speed and Braking

  • Stopping problems (too far, too short, too jerky
  • Accelerating or decelerating for no apparent reason
  • Varying speed
  • Slow speed (10MPH under the speed limit)

Vigilance Problems

  • Driving in opposing lanes or wrong way on one-way
  • Slow response to traffic signals
  • Slow or failure to respond to officer’s signals
  • Stopping in lane for no apparent reason
  • Driving without headlights at night
  • Failure to signal or signal inconsistent with action

Judgement Problems

  • Following too closely
  • Improper or unsafe lane change
  • Illegal or improper turn
  • Driving on other than the designated roadway
  • Stopping inappropriately in response to an officer
  • Inappropriate or unusual behavior
  • Appearing to be impaired

Studies have shown that there is a 65% probability that the driver is intoxicated if weaving plus one of the other above listed clues are present. If any two cues other than weaving are present the probability that the driver is intoxicated is at least 50 percent. The presence of some cues alone have probabilities greater than 70%.

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