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DUI: What to do During a Police Stop

When police pull you over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) in Orange County, what you say and do can affect whether you’re arrested for DUI and if so, your behavior can affect the outcome of your DUI case.

Will the officer haul you off to jail on suspicion of DUI? Or, will the officer let you go on your merry way? Often, the outcome depends on your choices during the critical police stop. Here’s what to do if you’re on a police officer’s radar.

When the Police Car is Behind You

If you notice a police car following behind you with its lights flashing, immediately find a safe place and pull over. The last thing you want to do is put your foot on the accelerator and try to evade the police.

Just because you pull over right away, it doesn’t mean you’re admitting guilt. It means you’re aware of your surroundings and you’re doing what you’re supposed to do, which is pulling over when the police indicate that you need to.

When you pull over right away, you’re doing the best thing to appease a suspicious traffic officer. If you are making any lane changes, be sure to use your turn signal. When you pull over, do so to the right and as far away from traffic as possible so the officer isn’t at risk of being struck by an oncoming vehicle.

After You Stop Your Vehicle

Once you pull over to a safe location, turn off your engine. When the officer approaches your vehicle, roll down your window immediately. It’s also a good idea to put your hands on the steering wheel so the officer can see that you’re not hiding a weapon or otherwise a threat.

If it’s dark, turn on the light inside your vehicle. These actions may seem minor, but to an officer, they’re anything but. Plenty of traffic officers have been brutally attacked or shot in killed during routine traffic stops, so to the officer, the most dangerous time is when they approach a stopped vehicle.

You may have to let your guard down a bit, or swallow your pride during this moment, but a few simple actions on your part will help put the approaching officer in the best frame of mind. Whatever you do, be respectful and polite, even if the officer is having a bad day.

Don’t get out of the car unless the officer asks you to step outside of your vehicle. Also, don’t go rummaging through your purse, your glove box, or your pocket for your insurance and registration until the officer asks for them. Otherwise, the officer may assume you’re reaching for a weapon and it can go downhill from there.

Contacting an Orange County DUI Attorney

Most simple traffic violations don’t require representation from a defense attorney; however, more serious accusations, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs do. If you’re facing DUI charges in Orange County, contact our firm for a free case evaluation!