DUI/DWI (Driving under the influence/driving while intoxicated) arrests are made mostly at night. There are a few occasions where daytime drivers are caught with enough alcohol in their system to face a charge, however they are unusual. Most DUI task forces are instead out at night searching for drivers leaving bars, restaurants, and parties. Many drunk drivers are caught the old fashioned way: speeding or swerving down the road or highway. There are actually several methods which police departments use to catch the more crafty (or, unfortunately, practiced) of impaired drivers. I’ll outline below a few of those methods, and lastly what you should do if you are arrested for DUI or DWI.
The first method which is being used around the nation is the checkpoint. DUI checkpoints look like roadblocks. Cars will be forced to line up one by one, and each driver will be inspected briefly by an officer by the side of the road. Drivers who do not appear to be impaired will be waved through, while drivers who seem suspect to the initial officer will be ushered to a secondary inspection tent. At the tent, the driver is treated like any other DUI stop.
The second method are undercover “cruiser” cars. Most people are well accustomed to what a Crown Victoria looks like in their rear view mirror, and police are no fools. They take impounded vehicles, place uniformed officers in them, and send them down the road to hunt for illicit activity to include DUI. These drivers will cruise around, not raising the suspicion of drivers around them. Oftentimes they will not even make the stop, simply following at a safe distance a suspect driver and having an officer in a marked car make the stop.
Another method police use is simple but effective: waiting outside the bar! Often there are several parking lots darkened at night near enough to a bar for police to sit and watch. When they see a customer walk out, inebriated, and get in their car they will follow them or radio to follow on cars to make a DUI stop. In this case the bar may also be held liable, since they knowingly let a drunk wander to their car and drive off.
If you are caught by one of these methods, make no mistake; a DUI charge is a serious one. There is hope, however. A reputable and experienced DUI attorney can evaluate your case and see if there were any improprieties by the police or mitigating circumstances which may result in your sentence being reduced or case being thrown out. Even if there are none, a DUI lawyer can negotiate with the prosecution to ease the impact on your record and life. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, contact an attorney immediately.