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What NOT to do if You Get Pulled Over

What NOT To Do When Pulled Over -


Blue lights and screeching sirens are terrifying.

What'd you do? Will I be arrested? I can't afford a ticket! The state of Georgia makes millions upon millions of dollars each year from traffic tickets alone, and thousands of citizens are taken to jail here annually after being pulled over by the police. 

Whether you're a teen, a fugitive, or an otherwise law-abiding citizen, no one wants to get pulled over. It's always an unpleasant and nervewracking experience but that doesn't mean there aren't things you can do to make it quicker and more painless. Here are a handful of things NOT to do if you get pulled over by the cops, starting with...


Don’t stop in the middle of the road.
It seems obvious but traffic stops are incredibly dangerous for you and the officer. Pull over as far to the right as possible and use your flashers if it’s nighttime. If you’re in an area where you can’t pull over safely (or it’s isolated and you want to be sure you’re safe), drive slowly with your flashers on until you can pull over responsibly. If it’s a long drive to do so, call 911 and let them know the situation so you won’t be cited for evading an officer.

Atlanta police officer DUIDon’t do anything too suspicious.
Over 50% of police officer deaths occur at traffic stops. Don’t give the officer any reason to worry about what you’re doing in your vehicle while he’s approaching: turn on the interior light, place your hands on the steering wheel, and wait until asked to rummage around for your ID and license. Do NOT get out of the car unless instructed to do so by the officer and of course, turn off your music.

Don’t give them a reason to perform a search.
If police feel they have probably cause to search your vehicle they are entitled to by law. Particularly if they have ‘reasonable suspicion’ that you may be armed or dangerous, they’ll find a way to check for weapons. Avoid making sudden movements as the police approach that may indicate you’re hiding something. And never, ever toss anything out the car window.

Don’t incriminate yourself.
It’s not a good idea to lie to a police officer. Always wait for the officer to speak first then answer his questions with non-committal responses if possible. For example, if you’re asked if you know why you were pulled over, respond with “no,” and if the officer says you were going faster than you think you were, don’t argue. Anything you say can be used against you later on. Be friendly and respectful, but don’t be chatty.

Don’t give evidence for a DUI.
Knowing whether or not to submit to a breathalyzer test is up to you, but many defense attorneys recommend you don’t. Also, never tell an officer you’ve had lots of drinks – everything you say to him in the field will be used against you in court. Without hard evidence or a confession you may still have to take a court-mandated DUI class or deal with licensing issues, but you’ll likely face fewer consequences than a full-on DUI conviction.


Remember that when you get pulled over, police officers are just doing their jobs. In many cases it’s as scary for them as it is for you and they want it to be over as quickly and efficiently as possible, too. Be polite, be courteous, and be helpful, but don’t forget that you have rights.

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