Call Today 803.359.3301
Police Officer’s Training in Phase One of DUI Detection

Police Officer’s Training in Phase One of DUI Detection

Police officers in South Carolina receive standardized training in DUI detection and field sobriety testing. The training breaks down DUI detection into three district phases. The first of these phases is called “Vehicle in Motion.” It is a list of specific things police officers should look out for that indicate the possibility of an impaired driver.

There are a total of 30 indicates, called cues. The first 24 apply before the police have tried to initiate a traffic stop (meaning pull someone over). The final 6 apply after the police have initiated a traffic stop.

Here are the first thirty:

  • Turning with a wide radius
  • Almost striking an object or vehicle
  • Weaving
  • Weaving across lane lines
  • Straddling center or lane marker
  • Appearing to be impaired
  • Driving on other than the designated roadway
  • Driving in opposing lane / wrong way on 1-way street
  • Slow response to traffic signals
  • Illegal or improper turn
  • Stopping inappropriately in response to officer’s signals
  • Stopping problems
  • Varying speeds
  • Slow or failure to respond to officer’s signal
  • Accelerating/decelerating rapidly
  • Driving without headlights at night
  • Swerving
  • Following too closely
  • Drifting
  • Speed slower than 10 mph below the speed limit
  • Stopping without cause in traffic lane
  • Improper or unsafe lane change
  • Inappropriate or unusual behavior
  • Failing to signal / signal inconsistent with driving

The final 6 are:

  • An attempt to flee
  • No response to emergency equipment
  • Slow response
  • An abrupt swerve
  • Sudden stop
  • Striking the curb or another object.

The fact than something is listed as an indicator doesn’t mean that it’s actual proof of impaired driving. It simply means that the officer was trained to be on the lookout for that specific issue when evaluating whether or not there is a DUI.

Police officers in South Carolina are also required to videotape almost all DUI arrests, beginning with the activation of their blue lights. These videos usually start earlier, where you can see the defendant’s driving prior to being stopped. There are times where the police may put in their report that they observed driving cues, that aren’t actually shown on the video. For this reason it’s important to check the video recording of a DUI stop and arrest to confirm what the officer puts in the report.  

Attorney James R. Snell, Jr., has completed training in DUI Detection and Field Sobriety Testing using the same curriculum as the police. Knowing how the police are trained is helpful in defending clients charged with DUI. For example, if the police are trained on thirty indicates for DUI, then the fact that they may only have observed one or two, can be used to put the totality of the situation in context.

We include a review of all available video footage of our client’s DUI arrest as a part of our client’s defense. That review includes looking for evidence both for and against the officer’s assertion of impaired driving during all three phases, including Vehicle in Motion. For more information about how we can help with your case contact us today for a free in-person case evaluation.


Get Started Today

We're Available to Schedule Immediate, Same-Day Consultations
    • Please enter your name.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.