The officer’s first task is to observe and interview the driver face to face. Based on the officer’s observation, they must decide whether there is sufficient cause to instruct the driver to step from the vehicle for further investigation. The officer’s second task is to observe the driver’s exist and walk from the vehicle.
- When I approach the vehicle, what do I see?
- When I talk with the driver, what do I hear, see, and smell?
- How does the driver respond to my questions?
- Should I instruct the driver to exist the vehicle?
- How does the driver exist?
- When the driver walks toward the side of the road, what do I see?
Based upon the officer’s face to face interview and observation of the driver, and upon previous observations of the vehicle in motion and the stopping sequence, the officer must decide whether there is sufficient reason to instruct the driver to step from the vehicle.
The Driver Interview
- The sense of sight (Bloodshot eyes, soiled clothing, alcohol containers, drugs or drug paraphernalia, unusual actions.)
- The sense of hearing (Slurred speech, admission of drinking, inconsistent responses, abusive languages, unusual statements.)
- The sense of smell (Alcoholic beverages, marijuana, cover up odors, unusual odors.)
Pre-Exit Interview Techniques
There are a number of techniques that officers use while the driver is still behind the wheel. Most of these concepts apply the concept of divided attention. They require the driver to concentrate on two or more things at the same time.
- Asking for two things simultaneously forgets to produce both documents, produces documents other than the ones requested, fails to see the license, registration, or both while searching through their wallet or purse, fumbles or drops wallet, purse, license, or registration.
- Asking interrupting or distracting questions The second technique, asking interrupting or distracting questions, forces the driver to divide attention between searching for the license or registration and answering a new question. Be alert for the driver who
- Ignores the question and concentrates only on the license or registration search
- Forgets to resume the search after answering the questions;
- Supplies a grossly incorrect answer to the question.
- Asking unusual questions The third technique, asking unusual questions, is employed after the officer has obtained the driver’s license and registration. Using this technique, the officer seeks verifying information through unusual questions. Unusually questions require the driver to precess information; this can be especially difficult when the driver does not expect to have to process information.
This technique requires the subject to recite a part of the alphabet. The officer instructs the subject to recite the alphabet beginning with a letter other than A and stopping at a letter other than Z. This divides the driver’s attention because the driver must concentrate to begin at an unusual starting point and recall where to stop.
This technique requires the subject to count out loud 15 or more numbers in reverse sequence. This also divides attention because the driver must continuously concentrate to count backwards while trying to recall where to stop.
In this technique, the subject is asked to touch the typo of the thumb in turn to the tip of each finger on the same hand while simultaneously counting up one, two, three, four; then to reverse direction on the fingers while simultaneously counting down four, three, two, one.
The officers decision to instruct the driver to step from the vehicle usually is made after you have developed a suspicion that the driver is impaired. Even though that suspicion may be very strong, usually the suspect is not yet under arrest when you give the instruction.
How the driver steps and walks from the vehicle and actions or behavior during the exit sequence, may provide important evidence of impairment for the officer. Examples include
- Shows angry or unusual reactions
- Cannot follow instructions
- Cannot open the door
- Leaves the vehicle in gear
- Climbs out of the vehicle
- Leans against vehicle
- Keeps hands on vehicle for balance
Contact : Collin County Criminal Lawyer
Collin County criminal lawyer Constantine Anagnostis dedicates his practice to people who are facing criminal charges, with a primary emphasis on DWI, Drug Offenses, Expunction & Nondisclosure Agreements, and Occupational Driver’s License Issues. Collin County criminal lawyer Constantine G. Anagnostis understands the law, procedures, and penalties pertaining to criminal law, and will aggressively fight to protect your rights. You may call 817-229-0319 to schedule a free consultation, or submit a sample case form. At DFW Criminal Lawyers, L.L.C., we look forward to helping you.
DFW Criminal Lawyers, L.L.C. serves clients in all of Collin County, including: Frisco, Texas, Plano, Texas, Prosper, Texas, Allen, Texas, McKinney, Texas, Anna, Texas, Wylie, Texas, Fairview, Texas, Melissa, Texas, Murphy, Texas, Celina, Texas, Lucas, Texas, and Hebron, Texas. For cases in Dallas county, click here.