Law enforcement officers across the United States have used the cues described in this brochure to help detect impaired motorcycle operators. The cues can be used at any hour of the day and night, and they apply to all two-wheeled motor vehicles.
The cues described and illustrated in this brochure (and on a training video) are the behaviors that are most likely to discriminate between impaired and normal operation of a motorcycle. Cases that involve speeding, however, require additional clarification. Motorcyclists stopped for excessive speed are likely to be driving while intoxicated only about 10 percent of the time (i.e., 10 times out of 100 stops for speeding). But because motorcyclists tend to travel in excess of posted speed limits, speeding is associated with a large portion of all motorcycle DWI arrests. In other words, while only a small proportion of speeding motorcyclists are likely to be considered DWI, the large number of motorcyclists who are speeding results in a large number of DWIs, despite the relatively small probability.
This research will be helpful to officers in:
- Detecting impaired motorcyclists
- Articulating observed behaviors on arrest reports
- Supporting officer’s expert testimony