Virginia Beach DUI Traffic Stops
When someone is pulled over for a DUI stop, the reason the officer pulled them over was actually not for the DUI at all. Most often, people are pulled over for traffic infractions and then at the stop itself, the officer will become aware of anything that the person is doing that may lead them to believe they have been drinking. The stop will then progress into a DUI stop. When this occurs, Virginia Beach DUI lawyers generally recommend keeping the following things in mind.
The Process of a Virginia Beach DUI Traffic Stop
When you hear police sirens or see police lights in your rearview mirror, you can safely assume that you are being pulled over. You should try to pull over into the right shoulder as quickly and as safely as possible. If there is no right shoulder and you cannot pull over for whatever reason, then you should put your hazard lights on so that the Virginia Beach police officer knows that you have seen him and are just looking for a safe place to do so. Then you could take either the nearest exit, or find a safe place in the vicinity to pull over.
You should take the nearest exit and try to pull over as soon as you can wherever there is a safe spot to do so. You should put your hazard lights on if it’s taking you awhile. That way, the officer knows that you have acknowledged him and aren’t just trying to elude him.
Answering Police Questions
The first thing you can expect the officer to do is ask you a series of very general questions. When you have pulled over, you should roll down your window enough to pass through documents and be able to communicate effectively. Most people will automatically roll it all the way down. Generally, this is easier.
This way, the officer is not going to think that you are trying to hide anything or being purposely difficult. However, it is not recommended to roll them more than partially down in a DUI stop, as the officer could be aware of the scent of alcohol in the car.
You should avoid saying anything that is not asked directly of you. A lot of times, people start babbling and giving excuses. You should not do this. Instead, you should remain quiet and wait for the officer to prompt you into giving information. Wait to speak with local law enforcement officials until you have gotten in touch with an experienced DUI lawyer in Virginia Beach.
You should also keep still. People get nervous and start to fidget. This, in turn, makes them appear suspicious to the officer, which could ultimately hurt your case.
You should also keep your hands on the steering wheel so as not to alarm the officer in any way. Do not start trying to retrieve documentation until the officer directly asks you to do so. Usually, he will ask for your license and registration, at which point it is expected that you are going to reach somewhere into your vehicle.
When you do this, you should keep your movements slow to avoid appearing as if you are reaching for a weapon. You should leave your vehicle running in case you are driving an older vehicle or something goes wrong, this way neither of you are stuck on the side of the road.
After the Initial Traffic Stop Questions
After that, if the officer suspects you were drinking, he will start trying to get evidence from you such by asking you questions, or asking you to take field sobriety tests. The best thing to do is not answer questions related to the incident or take any field sobriety tests. Plus, get in touch with your Virginia Beach DUI lawyer as soon as possible to discuss how to mitigate damages and protect your constitutional rights.
If Pulled Over by Unmarked Vehicle
If you are pulled over and you are not sure if the person that has pulled you over is a real live Virginia Beach police officer, you are completely within your rights to ask to see a badge. The problem with that is that a lot of people don’t know what the badge is supposed to look like; somebody could show you a fake badge and you might not know the difference.
A better option is to call the non-emergency number for the police department in Virginia Beach and ask them to confirm that you have actually been pulled over by a Virginia officer. If for any reason the officer is not real, they will immediately send dispatch to your location.
If you are pulled over at night, the process is mostly the same, although there are some important nuances that may work to your benefit.
Mistakes to Avoid
The biggest mistake to avoid during a traffic stop is doing anything that could potentially incriminate yourself. People get nervous when they are pulled over and it’s really common for them to start making excuses or to try to talk their way out of the situation. Anything like that is basically admitting that you’re doing it right now. It does not matter if you’ve never done it before. Your past is not what is being analyzed.
What you do in the interactions with police officers after you’ve been pulled over is crucial. It is possible that you say something entirely innocuous in your point of view, only for it to be interpreted as confirmation of guilt by a police officer. A person’s best bet is to keep quiet until they can get in touch with their attorney who will then help them avoid further complications.