Three Important Notes About Getting Pulled Over While Driving

Traffic ticket defense

Getting pulled over for a traffic ticket is definitely one of the worst feelings in the world, and it’s even worse if you’re pulled over because the police officer suspects that you’re driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of drugs. With some help from an experienced legal professional, it’s possible to get out of these traffic violations — or at the very least, to have the charges reduced as much as possible — but only if you know what to do (and what not to do) when you get pulled over:

  • The first, and most important, thing to remember is that you should stay calm and polite. The one way to ruin your chances to get out of a traffic ticket is to start getting angry at the officer, or to start arguing that you weren’t doing anything wrong. Make sure your engine is turned off, your hands are visible (usually placing them on your steering wheel is a good idea), and your radio is turned off. This shows that you’re not going to flee or try to fight.

  • Remember that a police officer has to have a reason for pulling over drivers, but that it’s possible to be charged with traffic violations that are different from the reason that you were first pulled over. For example, officers often give out DWI traffic violations after pulling over drivers to issue them misdemeanor traffic offenses, like reckless driving charges or tickets for running a red light. If the police officer then suspects that the driver is under the influence, he or she has the right to ask the driver to perform a field sobriety test and/or a chemical test.

  • Under something called “implied consent laws,” every driver is required to perform a chemical test if suspected of driving under the influence. Drivers can choose which test they want to take — either a breathalyzer on the roadside, or a blood or urine test in a medical facility — but it’s technically illegal to refuse to take a test. Refusing to perform a BAC test will result in immediate arrest, suspension of driving privileges, and will make it very difficult to get out of a traffic ticket later on.