It can be overwhelming when a police officer pulls you over. If you are not ready, you may do or say something that may affect whether you get arrested or face charges for drunk driving. While it may seem scary, it is possible to get out of a traffic stop without criminal consequences.
The key to avoiding DUI charges from a police stop is acting appropriately from beginning to end. Here are some pointers to help you handle a DUI stop correctly:
When you notice the police vehicle
Pull over as quickly and safely as you can as soon as you notice a police car behind you with its lights flashing or siren blaring. Once you find a safe place to pull over, turn your turn signal on and pull over as far as possible. This show the traffic officer that you are alert and respectful. While these may seem like insignificant actions, they can make a huge difference in the mood of the officer and how he or she perceives you.
When the officer starts to approach your vehicle
You should do everything on this checklist as soon as you pull over:
- Turn your engine off
- Put your window down
- If it is dark outside, turn on your interior lights
- Place your hands on the steering wheel
Avoid making any sudden movements; this will put the cop in the best state of mind.
Talking to the officer
You should be polite and succinct during a traffic stop. While you do not want to be hostile or unresponsive, you do not want to blabber on at risk of incriminating yourself. Keep your responses short and professional. Stick to simple words like "Sure" or, "Okay" when the officer asks you for your registration, license or proof of insurance.
If you get arrested
Believe it or not, it is possible to avoid criminal charges even if the police arrest you by talking to a lawyer. A defense attorney may be able to get your charges dropped.