Police officers looking to catch drunk drivers — when those drivers are in cars or motorcycles — look out for some specific things as vehicles speed past on New Jersey’s roadways. Drifting, weaving, excessive speeding or driving very slow are obvious signs of possible driver impairment. However, when it comes to motorcyclists, bikers who are driving under the influence have some tell-tale moves that cops know how to spot.
Trouble with dismount — There is a right way and a wrong way to get off your motorcycle. You’ve done it some many times you probably don’t even give it a second thought. However, if a police officer notices you having trouble shifting your weight as you dismount, be ready to be pulled over and questioned.
Trouble with balancing the bike when stopped: When stopping at a light, a stop sign or for any other reason, a biker will usually place one foot on the ground to balance while the other foot stays near the gear shift lever. Police are taught to watch bikers when stopped. If a cop sees a biker having trouble balancing or shifting their weight from leg to leg in an effort to keep the bike upright, a traffic stop to check for DWI is imminent.
Turning problems: For bikers, operating a motorcycle is like second nature. It’s like operating a car or a regular two-wheeled bicycle. So if a biker is having trouble with turning, there is either something wrong with the bike or the rider.
Wobbling: For example, if the motorcycle appears to be wobbling, police can view that as a turning issue and therefore a possible DWI.
Late braking in the middle of a turn or curve: The normal process is to brake as you enter the curve and accelerate as you come out of it. However, an impaired driver will have trouble judging distance and the bike’s speed of travel. Therefore, sudden or late breaking can be an indication to a cop that something is wrong.
Improper leaning during a turn: If the bike is being ridden properly, it will appear to onlookers to be as upright as possible during a turn or curve. Being upright provides traction and leaves extra room to lean into the curve if necessary. Failing to ride a bike as upright as possible may cause a nearby police officer to suspect the rider is DWI.
Of course, if a police officer observes any vehicle moving erratically on the road, inappropriate behavior or inattention to surroundings, you can rest assured they will suspect DWI — or distracted driving like texting while driving.
If you have been stopped for driving while intoxicated on a motorcycle or in a car, or you’ve been injured in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, contact experienced personal injury attorney Andrew Prince from Team Law for a free consultation about your situation.