1700 7th Avenue, Suite 2100, Seattle, Washington 98101
The Best in Traffic, DUI and Criminal Defense
Available 24/7 For a FREE Consultation (206) 729-3477

Most Popular Reasons for a Traffic Stop…and Potential DUI Arrest

Posted Friday, February 4, 2022 by Andrew Charles Huff

In my years of representing those accused of Driving Under the Influence, there is a consistent pattern to why a police officer would stop a driver that can lead to a DUI arrest. Typically, a DUI arrest is preceded by a traffic stop, whether the police officer suspects drunk driving or has stopped a driver for an unrelated reason, such as speeding. Many drivers commit these routine traffic offenses even when sober. However, at certain times of the day or week, police will suspect drunk driving and are more likely to stop drivers for traffic violations.

Here are the most consistent reasons I have seen police officers conduct a traffic stop that leads to an arrest for Driving Under the Influence:

  1. SpeedingDrivers frequently speed, both sober and intoxicated. In the late-night hours, or on weekends, officers may be more inclined to suspect DUI if you’re speeding. Additionally, driving too slowly can also be dangerous.

  2. Failure To Stay in Your Travel LaneThere are lots of reasons why a driver may be swerving while driving, such as texting, adjusting the air conditioning, or even eating. Regardless, police may stop a car for swerving, even if the car has not gone outside their lane.

  3. Reckless DrivingThere are many reasons why a driver could be driving in a reckless manner, such as a combination of speeding, swerving, cutting off other drivers or abrupt movements. Any officer who observes you driving in a way that could endanger yourself or others will likely pull you over.

  4. Ignoring Traffic Lights or SignsYou may be pulled over if you roll through a stop sign, run a red light, or make a turn where there is a sign that says you cannot.

  5. No Headlights (or other issues with your vehicle equipment)Another common reason for a traffic stop is for driving without headlights on, having dim or burned-out taillights, or expired license tabs.

  6. TextingI personally see drivers texting all the time and in the past have been guilty of this myself. But it is illegal to drive while simply holding and/or using an electronic device. Instead, you should use a holder for your device while driving so hands are free.

If you are pulled over, remember to be polite and avoid being confrontational. At the end of the day, police officers have a job to do, and behind every badge is a human being.

Latest From the Blog…

5/4/2022 – For Motorcyclists, Be Safe and Be Legal read more…