If your area has been plagued by forest fires, you know just how panic stricken you can feel if you've had to flee your home. Generally, police officers in the area will be helpful in assisting people to safely get out of the area, but that doesn't mean that they've forgotten about watching for people who may be breaking the law. Getting pulled over for a suspected DUI might be the last thing that you imagine you'd encounter when you're getting out of a forest fire zone, but there are several things that may lead a police officer to believe that you're inebriated. Unless serious threats are imminent, you can expect him or her to detain you and investigate whether you're under the influence. Here are some ways that fleeing the fire could lead to a DUI stop.
If you're concerned about getting as far away from the forest fire as you can, you might not be especially cognizant about following the rules of the road. While speeding is an understandable reaction, you might also swerve in and out of your lane, perhaps looking to see how the traffic is ahead of you. Threats aside, driving this way is unsafe, and this can quickly catch the attention of any police officer who may be working in this area. It's possible that he or she could pull you over on the suspicion that your driving style is the result of being intoxicated.
Any prolonged contact with a smoky environment can cause your eyes to appear bloodshot and watery, but these are also two signs that you may have been drinking. If a police officer has pulled you over, he or she will be quick to notice your eyes. If the immediate area isn't smoky and the officer's eyes are fine, but the area from which you have come is smoky, the police officer may especially be suspicious of your eyes and suspect that you've been drinking.
People understandably get panicked when there's the threat of a forest fire, and this can cause them to occasionally act irrationally. The officer who has pulled you over is constantly assessing your mannerisms and may notice behavior that could suggest that you're under the influence. Remember, a DUI arrest isn't just because of drinking. If the officer suspects that you're under the influence of any type of drug — which may seem plausible if you're taking in a manner that doesn't make sense or you appear fidgety — the officer may decide to conduct a field sobriety test.
If you've ended up being charged with a DUI that you solely blame on the forest fire, contact DUI attorneys like those at Pollack & Zuckerman Attorneys at Law.