DiLorenzo & Rush | Counselors of Law
Stepping Up & Standing Out

Subtle signs of intoxication

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Whether going out after work with your coworkers or on the weekend with your friends, it is dangerous to decide to drink without a plan to get home. Since alcohol will impair your judgment, you may end the night thinking that you can still drive home.

While you may be aware of the stereotypical symptoms that come with drinking too much, like slurred speech, there are other signs that you may be intoxicated.

Here are a few signs that cops watch for that suggest you may have had too much to drink.

Slow response to questions

One problem that comes with drinking is that, for you, the process is gradual. Your response times make sense because they changed gradually over time. However, when a new person encounters you after a few drinks, they will have a different experience.

During a drunk driving stop, an officer will pay attention to your response times to watch for slower-than-average answers to their questions. This may be one of the tips that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is too high.

Loud speech

Similar to slow responses, the volume of your speech will not seem loud to you because of the impact alcohol has on your perception. If you are speaking loudly during a stop, it is another red flag that you might have had too much to drink.

Horizontal gaze nystagmus

It is important to remember that not all field sobriety tests involve walking in a straight line or getting out of the car. The horizontal gaze nystagmus test is one an officer can ask you to perform that tends to be a reliable assessment of your intoxication level.

The horizontal gaze nystagmus test looks for involuntary jerking or twitching of the eye and other signs as you follow an object with your eyes. These are reflexes that tend to appear when under the influence of alcohol.

While some claim that they can practice other tests enough to appear sober, these subtle signs typically provide the information an officer needs to insist on a breathalyzer or other test.