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What To Do When You Are Pulled Over While Driving

Most drivers are used to seeing a police officer sitting on the side of the road, waiting for a speeding car to drive by. When you are that speeding car, you are likely going to be pulled over. If you find yourself in this position, there are some important things you can do that will make your traffic stop less stressful. These simple tasks will not only make the officer feel at ease approaching you, they may also help to calm you.

Pulling Over

The officer has pulled out behind you. Look for the first safe place to pull over. It should be well lit for your safety and that of the officer. A parking lot or a wide shoulder are optimal, but if they are not available, pull as far over to the curb as possible.

Your Behavior

Remember to stay calm. Any quick or unexpected movements will put the officer on high alert. While you wait for the officer you should put on your overhead light, if it is dark out, and place your hands on the top of the steering wheel. This will show the officer that you do not intend to harm him or her.

Documents

At this point the officer will ask you for your documents. This typically includes your license, registration and insurance card. If those items are not in within easy reach, inform the officer of where they are before you reach for them. Hand the documents over to the officer and await his or her instructions.

The Reason you were Pulled Over

The officer will either tell you or ask if you know why you were pulled over. If you know you were speeding, honesty is the best policy. Let the officer know that you respect his or her intelligence. If you were pulled over for another reason, such as swerving or driving under the influence of alcohol, you may be asked to get out of the vehicle and walk the line or take a breathalyzer test. If you have been drinking, admit it now. The officer will test you and find out. It is legal for you to refuse certain tests or car searches, but the officer can get a warrant and do it anyway later.

Consequences

If you are lucky the officer will let you go with a warning. If you do receive a ticket do not argue with the officer, that is what court is for. Take the ticket and prepare to leave. If you were found to be under the influence of alcohol, you will most likely be arrested. If you are arrested for driving while drunk, you need to find an attorney to handle your DWI case right away. Depending on the state, there will be hefty fines or time in prison if found guilty for this offense.

Once the officer has given you permission to leave and is safely in his or her car, you are free to go. If you have followed the tips above, the traffic stop should have gone smoothly. Keeping these things in mind every time you are pulled over will help you to stay safe. It is still best, however, to drive safely to begin with and avoid being pulled over.

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