Many people who are arrested for a DUI in California are surprised to find out that their DUI arrest occurred as a result of being pulled over for an innocuous vehicle code violation. Once pulled over for a low level vehicle code violation, the detention quickly changes from a ticket to a full blown DUI investigation, irrespective of whether the person has consumed an intoxicating substance. This especially occurs during the hours of midnight and 3 a.m., as it has been determined that that is the time with the highest amount of impaired drivers on the road. (Not so coincidentally, but that is also around the hours of the “last call for alcohol” at the bar.) It is during these times that a person will most likely be stopped for a violation that they routinely commit during daylight hours without a second glance from law enforcement. I have provided just a few of the common vehicle code violations that result in DUI arrests. Please note this is not an exhaustive discussion of the many reasons people get stopped by police. It’s merely a brief discussion of common grounds for a DUI detention.
One of the most common reasons that people are stopped but arrested for a DUI is weaving. Officers sometime refer to weaving as “driving in a serpentine manner” as the vehicle appears “snake” across the roadway. What may come as a shock is that a person can be stopped for weaving although that person maintains his/her lane. That person need not weave crossing any lane whatsoever. In fact, officers will stop a person for weaving if the car moves a foot to the left or the right several times while driving. Officers routinely fail to mention weather conditions like windy or rainy weather. They also fail to mention how smooth the roadway is or whether it was a curved road.
Speed is another reason that police officers stop individuals who are eventually arrested for a DUI. Typically the person is initially stopped for driving faster than the speed limit. Officers also do not hesitate to stop people for driving too slow, even when the driver is not obstructing traffic. Or, there is my favorite weird reason to stop someone – fluctuation of speed. That’s right, officers will note whether you accelerate and slowly decelerate. Then, they will stop you for it. Again, the officers will stop you for fluctuation of speed regardless of whether this driving pattern impacts others on the road.
And last, but not least, being stopped for failing to have headlights on during hours of darkness. This usually occurs when a person is driving borrowed car and fails to notice that the headlights must be manually turned on. Or, when a person is driving his/her own vehicle and fails to realize that a valet has turned the automatic headlights switch off. The individual can be driving perfectly – obeying all traffic rules that deal with moving violations. It doesn’t matter. The police will detain that person and initiate a DUI investigation, which many times result in a DUI arrest.
So, in closing I have the following words of advice. If you are driving during the hours of darkness, especially from midnight to 3:00 a.m., you don’t be surprised if you are stopped by the police and investigated for a DUI. If this investigation results in a DUI arrest, memorize this number and call 1-888-4-TopGun. We’re very experienced at handling these types of situations.