What Physical Symptoms?
Why are they Significant?
Officers will observe the physical appearance of the alleged intoxicated driver very closely. This is done to determine symptoms of toxox in order to form the basis of arrest (probable cause). The symptoms will be included in the arrest report for the use by the prosecuting attorney in the prosecution of the driver for DUI.
The type of alcohol that is safe for human consumption is called ethanol. Ethanol is a central nervous system depressant. It is scientifically proven that human animals exhibit tell-tale signs of inoxication. The police officer will utilize the senses of sight, smell, and hearing in order to pick up on these signs.
Signs of Intoxication:
Eyes: Eyes may be bloodshot, watery, red, glassy, runny, eyelids droopy. Although alcohol does not affect pupil size, alcohol will cause the pupils to react sluggishly to light.
Speech: The speech may be slurred, slow, robotic, incoherent, stuttered, lethargic, mumbled, rambling, or low in volume. In a related-topic, the suspected drunk driver may admit having been drinking, or may use abusive language, have inconsistant responses to the officer's questions, or make unusual statements. The suspected drunk driver may also be very talkative.
Breath: Breath is often described as having the odor of an alcoholic beverage or described as stale. The officer may also note the odor of a "cover-up." A cover-up odor may be mints, mouthwash, gum, etc.
Face: The face will be described as pale, pallid, flushed, or slack.
Pulse: When under the influence of alcohol, most people will have elevated pulse rates.
Attitude: The suspect drunk driver's attitude may be described as excited, polite, sullen, talkative, carefree, drowsy, profane, morose, cooperative, combative, discourteous, inattentive, sarcastic, flirtatious, or any combination of these.
Balance and Coordination: These factors may be described as falling, swaying, wobbling, leaning against stationary object for support, or impaired.
Walking: The way the suspect drunk driver walks may be described as staggering, falling, stumbling, swaying, or stomping.