Drunk drivers are a serious risk to others when they’re on the road. That’s why DUI detection is an important part of a police officer’s job. Knowing these methods could help you in identifying potential drunk drivers as well…

DUI Detection: How Police ID Drunk Drivers

Driving behavior

A person’s driving behavior plays a large role in DUI detection. Due to the effects of alcohol, drunk drivers will tend to drive much more poorly than their sober counterparts. These changes in driving behavior can then indicate to an officer that something might not be right with the driver themselves.

There are plenty of ways in which driving can indicate whether a person is impaired. However, some tells stand out more than others… For example, constant swerving in-between lanes is a common sign of a drunk driver, as is following other drivers too closely, or aggressive speeding.

Sobriety tests

Driving behavior is a good way to pick out potential drunk drivers. However, officers will need to perform a more in-depth look at the driver before making any decisions. That’s why they’ll use other methods of DUI detection as well, such as field sobriety tests.

Field sobriety tests tend to focus on some key areas that alcohol negatively effects. These include a person’s balance, tracking skills, memory, and decision making. These tests give the officer a better indication of whether or not the driver is impaired. After concluding these physical tests they will decide whether or not to move onto a breathalyzer test.


Breathalyzers are another form of DUI detection. Often times, offices will use these devices alongside a field sobriety test. That way, an officer will have some “hard” data to help them determine their course of action. The way that a driver performs on their field sobriety tests, combined with their BAC, and other factors will help officers make the call in terms of DUI detection and arrest.

Of course, you can use some of these detection methods as well. Of course, you won’t be pulling anyone over if you see them driving poorly. However, if they appear to be under the influence, you can make the call and let emergency services know what is going on. Knowing what officers look for can help you know what to look for as well.