By Thomas A. Campbell
If you are pulled over, there a few steps you can take to ensure the stop remains in your favor and minimize your risk of being arrested.
If you have been drinking, the officer is more likely to notice than not. He will begin looking for “clues” that you are impaired. You can prepare to counteract any “clues” by taking the following steps.
- Keep your registration and proof of insurance in a place that is easy to access and easy to find. Frequently, I see police report notations that the driver handed the officer an expired insurance card or registration. Sign your registration when you get it and store it with your proof of insurance. Discard any old or expired registration forms and insurance cards. Wait for the officer to ask for you to produce the documentation he is requesting; the officer will be concerned for his safety if you are rummaging through your car before he gets to your window.
- Keep your drivers license in an easily accessible place; keep in mind that the officer will notice if you fumble for your license. He will be watching for signs of coordination-or lack of it.
- Be polite and cooperative but don’t admit to anything. Don’t be evasive as it will only raise the officer’s suspicion further.
- Never lie. The “two beers” defense is infamous among police officers, prosecutors and defense attorneys. When you take a breath test that results in a .15 reading, it is obvious that you had well over “two beers”. Your defense and credibility will be damaged later when it is apparent that you were willing to lie.
If the officer asks you to get out of the car, you should prepare yourself for the likelihood that you are about to be arrested, your car will be impounded and you will be taken to the police station.