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Methods law enforcement uses to identify intoxicated drivers

Colorado Springs police officers are trained to detect intoxicated drivers on the roadway. They have several methodologies they employ to determine whether someone has been drinking and driving and if the officer has cause to suspect intoxication, the officer can arrest the driver, who will then face DUI charges in court.

The three primary methods of DUI detection used by officers are:

-- Erratic driving behavior: If an officer notices a driver swerving, driving slowly, failing to follow traffic signals, ignoring traffic signs or driving in some other erratic fashion, it could give the officer cause to suspect the driver of being intoxicated. With a reasonable suspicion of DUI, the officer may then pull over the driver and question him or her.

-- Physical signs of intoxication: Once pulled over, an officer will look for physical signs of intoxication in the driver, such as red eyes, alcohol smell on the breath, slurred speech and difficulty walking.

-- Field sobriety test: The officer might perform a field sobriety test that involves walking in a straight line, balancing on one leg, a speech test, a vision test and pupil dilation test. Failing the field sobriety test will usually lead to a blood alcohol test.

-- Blood alcohol test: This test may be a blood test, urine test or breath test in which a special device is used to calculate the driver's estimated blood alcohol content. A 0.08 percent blood alcohol content is sufficient cause for an immediate arrest in Colorado.

Although failing the above tests may may result in an arrest and criminal charges, Colorado residents accused of DUI will not necessarily be convicted in court. Each driver will have the chance to defend him or herself against a DUI charge. Defendants will also have the opportunity to retain a qualified criminal defense lawyer to represent them during these proceedings.

Source: FindLaw, "DUI Defense Attorneys Who Will Fight For You," accessed March 03, 2017

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