In many drunk driving cases, a police officer will have pulled a vehicle over for a different reason entirely. Maybe they saw someone with a taillight out, for instance, and they pulled them over to tell them to get it fixed. It is only during the traffic stop that the officer notices signs and symptoms of intoxication and realizes that the driver is drunk.
But you can be pulled over for impaired driving even if you haven’t had alcohol. Marijuana may be legal for medical and recreational use, for instance, but it is still illegal to drive while you are impaired by the substance. But how can the police tell if a driver is actually high during a traffic stop?
Potential symptoms of drugged driving
For one thing, the police officer may be able to use evidence from the way the person was driving. Someone who’s been involved in an accident that they just caused, for example, may see that accident itself used as evidence of impairment. However, some of the common physical symptoms that a police officer may see after a traffic stop include the following:
- Bloodshot eyes that are red and dry
- An apparent feeling of euphoria or glee
- Unexpected and unwarranted laughter
- A foggy memory or difficulty finding the right words
- An increased appetite or thirst
The authorities have been working on various devices to measure this type of impairment, but there is no breathalyzer for marijuana at this time. This means that it is important for officers to know what signs and symptoms to look for when they suspect drugged driving. It also means that they can make mistakes during an arrest, so be sure that you know what legal options you have.