It's common to feel extremely nervous when a police officer pulls you over, even if you're only committed a minor traffic infraction such as driving a bit faster than the speed limit. Your anxiety is likely to increase, however, if you've been drinking and are concerned about the police officer investigating you for driving under the influence of alcohol. As you interact with the police officer, things can go from bad to worse quickly — perhaps because of your anxiety, rather than how much you've had to drink. Here are some ways that anxiety can be harmful during a DUI stop.
It Can Cause Speech Issues
People who are calm and confident are generally able to answer basic questions with a high degree of ease. This isn't the case for you when you're anxious, however. You may struggle to find the right words to answer the police officer's questions, and this can lead him or her to believe that you're under the influence of alcohol. Even if you're well below the legal limit — perhaps you had just one drink a few hours ago — your speech may seem so irregular that the officer chooses to conduct a full DUI investigation.
It Can Make The Field Tests Difficult
Passing a field sobriety test can be a challenge simply because of your anxiety, and performing each of the steps when experiencing a heavy case of the nerves could potentially make it appear as though you're intoxicated. For example, if you're extremely anxious, you may feel shaky. It's very difficult to balance on a single foot with your hands out to your sides, or to walk heel to toe, when you're shaky. Your legs may feel uneasy and you could stumble — further evidence in the police officer's mind that you're under the influence.
It Can Result In Unusual Behavior
Those who are very anxious can often behave in ways that aren't indicative of how they normally act. For example, a traffic stop is a serious event, but your anxiety may cause you to laugh or even make awkward jokes. These behaviors may come as a surprise to you, but they're prime examples of your body trying to release anxiety. However, any police officer who is talking to you may feel as though your behavior isn't consistent with someone who is sober, and may thus decide to arrest for you DUI. As soon as you can, call a DUI attorney like Angela L Walker PC to explain how your anxiety impacted your traffic stop.
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