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Can an Officer in New Hampshire Pull Me Over Just Because He Suspected I was Driving While Intoxicated?

Getting pulled over is never fun, but getting pulled over because a police officer simply suspected that you driving while intoxicated (DWI) is not only not fun, it may be illegal. Law enforcement officers in the state of New Hampshire are trained to use DWI/DUI Detection procedures that are set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The DWI Detection process involves evidence based phases in determination of whether or not an individual may be arrested for a suspected DWI violation. There are three phases to the DWI detection process:

  • Phase One – Vehicle in Motion;
  • Phase Two – Personal Contact; and
  • Phase Three – Pre ‐arrest Screening

The question must be asked: Can an officer in New Hampshire pull me over just because he suspected I was driving while intoxicated?

Police Officers Pulling Over a Suspected Drunk Driver in New Hampshire

Unless you are being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, if you are pulled over under suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the officer is utilizing Phase One – observing the vehicle in motion. New Hampshire State troopers and police officers are trained to observational cues in determining whether or not the vehicle observed is being operated by an impaired driver.

A study conducted by the NHTSA uncovered twenty-four different cues of impairment that suggest a high probability that a driver is impaired. Police officers are specifically trained to use these cues in the detection of nighttime drunk-driving. The twenty-four cues if observed by a police officer that will get you pulled over for suspected DWI, are as follows:

Problems in Maintaining Proper Lane Position

  • Weaving
  • Weaving across lane lines (lane departure)
  • Drifting
  • Straddling a lane line
  • Swerving
  • Almost striking object or vehicle
  • Turning with a wide radius
  • Slow Speed (10 miles per hour + below limit)

Speed and Braking Problems

  • Stopping problems (too far, too short, or too jerky)
  • Unnecessary acceleration or deceleration
  • Varying speed
  • 10 mph or more under the speed limit

Vigilance Problems

  • Driving without headlights at
  • Failure to signal or signal inconsistent with action
  • Driving in opposing lanes or wrong way on one way
  • Slow response to traffic signals
  • Slow or failure to respond to officer’s signals
  • Stopping in the lane for no apparent reason

Judgment Problems

  • Following too closely (tailgating)
  • Improper or unsafe lane change
  • Illegal or improper turn
  • Driving on other than designated roadway
  • Stopping inappropriately in response to an officer
  • Inappropriate or unusual behavior (throwing objects, arguing, etc.)
  • Appearing to be impaired”

So, in short—the answer to “Can an Officer in New Hampshire Pull Me Over Just Because He Suspected I was Driving While Intoxicated?” is yes and no. A law enforcement officer can pull you over on suspicion of DWI if they observe you doing any single one of the twenty-four impairment cues or violating any Rule of the road.

Always Consult a New Hampshire DWI Defense Attorney

Driving while intoxicated is a very serious crime. If you or a loved one has been arrested on suspicion of DWI in New Hampshire, you need experienced DWI lawyers with an arsenal of drunk driving defenses. Our DWI defense attorneys at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. regularly handle DWI cases and can help you defend your rights under the law. Contact Tenn And Tenn, P.A. today for a free consultation!



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