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Actions to avoid during a police traffic stop

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | DUI Charges

In California, police make traffic stops as part of their job. People who are nervous or fearful about the reason for the stop – especially if it is for a serious offense like driving under the influence – might feel apprehension about possible consequences. This could result in mistakes that can make the situation worse.

Know what not to say to the officer after a traffic stop

People who are subject to a traffic stop are prone to saying and doing things that could escalate the situation. For example, it is common to ask the officer why the stop was made. It is better to simply follow the officer’s instructions after they initiate the conversation.

Combative questions and statements like asking the officer if they have anything more important to do implies that the stop is a waste of time. Belittling the officer or suggesting the stop will mean trouble for them because the driver “knows” someone in a position of power is unethical and will probably not help.

An officer often asks the driver if they know why they were stopped. Saying yes and explaining why could give the officer an entirely different cause for suspicion than the reason for the stop. Other missteps include letting the officer search the vehicle immediately. This waives the driver’s rights under the Fourth Amendment.

It is certainly unwise to get into an argument with the officer about the stop. Regarding a possible DUI, a driver telling the officer they only had one drink could spark a more intensive investigation with field sobriety tests and an arrest.

Drivers should be honest when answering questions, but limited in the answers. They should comply, wait until the investigation is complete and act accordingly based on their legal rights, particularly in a possible DUI.

Drivers should remember their rights during a DUI traffic stop

Drivers should remember the basics during a police stop. That involves following the officer’s instructions, keeping from saying or doing things to possibly make matters worse and knowing how to formulate a defense for the charges.