Have you ever hit a curb when making a turn, say, out of a driveway? Most of us have at one time or another. Usually we say, “Whoops!” and drive on.
But seeing a driver glance off a curb on the way out of a Wal Mart parking lot was enough to put a New Hartford, New York police officer on the alert. He pulled over the driver and smelled alcohol. Busted.
The driver, a woman from Utica, New York was found to have a blood alcohol concentration exceeding .08 per cent, and was charged with DWI. In New York that means a fine of at least $1,000, possible imprisonment, and an ignition interlock installed in her car.
Spotting the car hitting the curb gave the officer probable cause for stopping the car. It could have been any number of signs, ones that all police keep a lookout for:
- Drifting into the center lane
- Nearly missing a parked car or other vehicle
- Driving too slowly – it’s amazing how many impaired drivers are caught this way!
- Forgetting headlights at night
- Stopping where they don’t need to, e.g. green lights
Once you are stopped, the officer will talk to you and evaluate your speech. If he or she thinks there is cause, you will need to blow into a breathalyzer.
Moral: if you are driving impaired, no matter how well you think you hide it, you are not in control, and that one small slip will be enough to alert the police.