Everyone should know that a police officer cannot stop you and then "work backwards" to try to find a reason to arrest you. They must have reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed or is being committed. That means that we should all be aware of some basic guidelines that many police departments and officers use when determining whether or not to stop someone. The US government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has three guidelines that they recommend to follow in determining whether there is sufficient cause to arrest someone for DUI. The first is the "vehicle in motion" guideline. This is the most critical phase in arresting an individual for DUI as this is the step needed to begin an interaction with the driver. The main elements an officer will look for when observing a vehicle in traffic are problems staying in your lane, speed and braking issues, not driving consistently and making poor judgment calls. For instance, if you pass a vehicle and nearly clip the fender doing so, that would be poor judgment. After the officer has determined that there has been erratic or erroneous behavior of the vehicle in motion he will then stop the vehicle and begin the second phase of the process, which is interacting with the driver. If the officer is convinced of DUI, he will then begin the last step of the process which is the pre-arrest screening, which involves field sobriety tests and field BAC tests. Of course, our advice is to never drive if you are intoxicated by any substance. If you have been arrested or charged with DUI and you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Winooski, Colchester, Williston or anywhere in the State of Vermont, call the Law Office of C Jordan Handy to discuss your case.