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  • Ross & Beckman, PLC.

Staying calm and collective during a traffic stop

Under Virginia law, the police cannot stop you for a drunk driving investigation without cause. They must have probable cause to suspect that you are drunk behind the wheel to stop you. That is, you must have broken or be in the process of breaking some traffic rules (like running the red lights, tailgating or driving at night with your headlights off).

If the police stop you for a DUI investigation, it helps to understand that your case (and defense) begins right there. What you do following the police’s command to stop has the potential to impact the outcome of your case.

Here are two important steps you need to take as soon as you are stopped for DUI:

Pull over to a safe spot immediately

During the DUI stop, the police will begin observing you even before rolling down your window or stepping out of the car. As soon as the police pull you over, turn on your signal, slow down and stop the vehicle at a safe spot. Do not panic and stop suddenly. Also, do not keep driving. This could amount to evading the police and the consequences can be dire.

Remain calm and in control

Just like everyone else, law enforcement officers take their safety seriously. And this explains why they will always approach you from the rear with their eyes on your mirror. As soon as you stop the vehicle, do not step out of the car until the police ask you to do so. Also, do not act in a manner that gives the police the impression that you could be a threat to their safety. Do not begin searching for your driver’s license or anything. Instead, remain calm and place your hands where the police can see them.

Knowing what you should do, and mistakes you should avoid, during a DUI stop can help you avoid missteps that can hurt your case down the road.


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