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Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer > Blog > Criminal Defense > Erratic Lane Changes and Florida DUI Stops

Erratic Lane Changes and Florida DUI Stops


After a DUI arrest prompted by swerving, failure to signal, or another sort of erratic lane change, it is important to connect with a legal professional who understands the common reasons for DUI stops initiated by law enforcement officers. Erratic lane changes often serve as a red flag for potential impaired driving, leading to traffic stops and subsequent DUI investigations, but there are also paths to building a defense.

Share the specifics of your situation with a Clearwater criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney can walk you through the details of the charges you are facing, including possible penalties, and investigate the circumstances surrounding the traffic stop.

Erratic Lane Changes and Their Significance

Sudden swerving, failure to signal, drifting across lanes, and frequent lane weaving, can all be referred to as erratic lane changes. These behaviors can also be indicators of impaired driving, so when they are viewed by law enforcement officers traffic stops are likely.

Examples of suspicion lane changes:

  • Driving across lanes. If a Florida driver fails to maintain a steady course within their lane, it can be a clear indication of impaired driving.
  • Improper signal use. It is well understood that using turn signals properly is an important part of safe driving, and failing to signal is a traffic violation on its own, but absent turn signals or inconsistent signal usage can also be signs of a person driving under the influence.
  • Odd, improper turns. When a driver is moving between lanes to turn in an odd way, such as making an incredibly wide turn that uses multiple lanes, it will draw the attention of law enforcement officers. When a vehicle operator is clearly having trouble understanding the turning radius or is cutting corners sharply, this can be an indicator of impaired motor skills.
  • Inattentive driving. Impaired drivers may make erratic, unsafe lane changes because they are distracted as well. For instance, a delayed response to traffic signs or ignoring traffic signals completely could alert Florida law enforcement to a person being both under the influence and distracted.

There are many different reasons why a person could be suspected of drunk driving in Florida, and some of them include sudden swerving, failure to signal, drifting across lanes, and frequent lane weaving. But just because a behavior triggers suspicion of impaired driving, that does not in and of itself mean the driver is drunk or high.

Talk to a Florida DUI Lawyer

If you find yourself facing a DUI charge following a traffic stop related to erratic lane changes, talk to a Clearwater criminal defense lawyer. When deciding on an attorney, ask about the lawyer’s experience with past DUI clients. You want an attorney who has secured optimal outcomes for individuals who were in a situation similar to your own.

Do you find yourself facing a DUI charge following a traffic stop related to erratic lane change? To navigate the Florida legal process effectively and have your rights protected, connect with the legal team at King Law Group. Schedule your free consultation today.

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