Most DWI (Driving While Impaired) stops occur when a police officer sees a car that is motion. The officer may notice that the car is weaving, or that the driver is violating some other law: for instance, headlights are not operating, the car runs a red light, or the officer runs the plates and finds the car is out of registration.
The North Carolina Court of Appeals has established 24 DWI detection cues taught by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in State v. Bonds, 533 S.E.2d 855:
- weaving across lanes
- straddling a lane line
- almost striking a vehicle or object
- turning with a wide radius
- stopping problems (too far, too short, too jerky)
- accelerating for no reason
- varying speed
- slow speed
- driving without headlights at night
- failure to signal a turn or lane change
- driving in opposing lane or wrong way on one-way street
- slow response to traffic signals
- slow or failure to respond to officer’s signals
- stopping in lane for no apparent reason
- following to closely
- improper or unsafe lane change
- illegal or improper turn
- driving on other than designated roadway
- stopping inappropriately in response to an officer
- inappropriate or unusual behavior
- appearing to be impaired.
Note that speeding is not one of the DWI cues recognized by the NHTSA, and therefore by North Carolina.