Driving Manifestations The Facts…

One piece of evidence police officers and prosecutors use to try to detect and prosecute impaired drivers are the driver’s driving manifestations.  Police officers are trained to look for certain driving manifestations when they are detecting potentially impaired drivers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a list of driving manifestations that officers should specifically and carefully look for when detecting impaired drivers and NHTSA also included their own statistical evidence, compiled through their own research that an individual who exhibits that particular driving manifestation is over the legal limit.  The complete list, which is given to most DUI officers, includes:

Turning with wide radius over 50%
Straddling center or lane marker 65%
Appearing to be drunk 60%
Almost striking object or vehicle 60%
Weaving 60%
Driving on other than designated roadway 55%
Swerving 55%
Slow speed (more than 10 mph below limit) 50%
Stopping (without cause) in traffic lane 50%
Drifting 50%
Following too closely 45%
Tires on center or land marker 45%
Braking erratically 45%
Driving into opposing or crossing traffic 45%
Signaling inconsistent with driving actions 40%
Stopping inappropriately (other than in lane) 35%
Turning abruptly or illegally 35%
Accelerating or decelerating rapidly 30%
Headlights off 30%


Speeding is missing from the NHTSA impaired driving manifestations list, and speeding is a major reason for many DUI stops.  According to NHTSA, speeding did not make the list of impaired driving manifestations because speeding requires more reaction time, braking distance, and actual physical control than it does to drive a car at a regular speed.  All of these extra requirements are all slowed by the presence of alcohol.

Additionally, if your DUI arrest was the result of being stopped at a roadblock then the arresting officer and prosecutor will not have any impaired driving manifestations to use against you in court.  This is a huge benefit to your case because the prosecution is now missing a major piece of evidence that they commonly rely on to secure convictions.

Other reasons that did not make the NHTSA impaired driving manifestations list include failure to obey a traffic control device, defective equipment charges, expired tag or insurance, and suspended registration.  No matter why you were stopped for a DUI it is important that you and your attorney understand how the underlying charges can affect the overall outcome of your case.

Need help in your DUI case then call DUI Jim, Atlanta DUI lawyer (404) 467 1747 to Schedule.