Just Sitting at a Stoplight – Why Was He Arrested for DUI?

when-a-driver-is-drunk-at-spotlightYou know when a driver is drunk. He or she is veering all over the place, hopping curbs, swerving into traffic, knocking over trash cans and mailboxes. You see what’s going on and you call 911.

Police can tell when a driver is drunk, too. But they don’t need to see a car skid all over the place. Recently a man in Orange, Connecticut was charged with DUI after he was found waiting at a traffic light.

Of course, the light had turned green and red a few times, and the man continued to wait. That’s a sure sign of impairment. Alcohol impairs concentration and alertness, so it’s easy to understand why a driver might not be paying attention to the traffic light.

Of course, a man who isn’t paying attention to a light might miss the next red light too. When a driver is drunk he might also not pay attention to pedestrians at a crosswalk or cars coming in the opposite direction.

Connecticut is not very lenient on drunk drivers. The state requires all drunk driving offenders, including first offenders, to install an ignition interlock to prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has alcohol on his or her breath. A third or subsequent offender will have an interlock requirement for 10 years after license reinstatement.

Connecticut also imposes stiff fines on drunk drivers, topping off at $8,000 for a third or subsequent offense.

If you drive impaired, in Connecticut or elsewhere, keep in mind that the police know how to spot you. Even if you’re just sitting there, minding your own business, you could well be pinched. Because sometimes you’re not supposed to be sitting there.