Washington State Observation Evidence
Gathering of evidence against you began with the officer observing your vehicle for “clues” of impaired driving, such as:
- Driving on or over lane markings (center or right)
- Driving slower than the speed limit
- Failing to signal lane changes or turns
- Turning with a wide radius
- Following too closely
- Slow response to traffic signals
The officer then observed your actions in pulling over, looking for evidence of:
- Failing to notice the signal immediately
- Taking too long to pull over
- Pulling over too soon (unsafely)
- Parking your vehicle improperly
- Having difficulty with controls (ignition, gears, windows)
- A competent DUI attorney will always look for a challenge to the lawfulness of the stop. If probable cause for the stop is questionable, the case may be dismissed or the charge reduced through negotiation.
The officer also observed your appearance and behavior for:
- Bloodshot or watery eyes
- Odor of an alcoholic beverage on your breath or person
- Nervousness and fumbling for your license or paperwork
- Slurred speech
- Inappropriate or unusual behavior (arguing, crying, pleading)
- Admissions of drinking or taking prescription or even over-the counter drugs are strong evidence. Some drivers believe the officer will let them go if they “cooperate” by admitting to having “only a couple.” THIS IS NOT THE CASE.
Your constitutional rights include the right to remain silent, and to speak with an attorney before questioning. If you exercised these rights, you did the right thing. If the officer continued to question you after you invoked your rights, the court may suppress your statements, and a competent defense attorney may be able to negotiate a reduction of the charge.
The officer gathered evidence as you stepped from your vehicle; watched for signs of poor balance, such as using the vehicle for support, or using your arms to balance as you stand or walk. Next, the officer likely had you perform field sobriety tests to gather further evidence against you.