Most people can go their entire lives without having any brushes with the law. Which is why, when you see the flashing lights behind you, it has a tendency of making your heart leap up into your throat. This feeling can be compounded if you’ve been drinking before you got behind the wheel. Time seems to slow down to a crawl as you’re pulling over. It almost feels as though you can count your heartbeats as you watch the officer get out of the car. But what do you do? How should you react? Here are some helpful guidelines for keeping your emotions in check when you get pulled over.
This is perhaps one of the most important steps you can take. You have about a minute from the time you pull over till the officer is at your window. This is your chance to prepare yourself. When you see the lights, pull over as quickly and safely as possible. Turn your engine off and hazard lights on. Take advantage of that brief window of time to make sure you have your ID and other important information ready. Having your window down and your wrists on the steering wheel also suggests that you’re willing to cooperate with the officer, as well as respecting their safety. Remember, they’re doing their job, helping to put their mind at ease will make things easier for you in the long run. Also, don’t forget to breath, take a few deep breaths and calm yourself. If you’re mid panic attack, you won’t be thinking clearly which can cause trouble for you.
Be Courteous and Polite
This situation leads to a lot of high emotion, which causes people to do and say somethings they probably shouldn’t. Once again, the officer is doing their job. Being confrontational, argumentative, or combative is one of the worst things you can do. Don’t talk back to the officer or be rude. Doing this gives them all the more reason to find something you’ve done wrong. If you’re asked to step out of the vehicle, do so. However, don’t move or act without being told to do so. This is from a safety standpoint for the officer, and understanding that will help put them at ease.
Don’t Give Up
If you’re being charged with a DUI it’s important to remember that it’s not the same as being convicted. Even if you’ve failed a breathalyzer test, it’s not the end of the world. You still have a chance to win in court, with the right help. Rolling over and accepting defeat now is one of the worst things you can do. After you’ve made it home safely, the first thing you need to do is find a DUI attorney. With the right attorney you stand a good chance of winning in court and being cleared of the charges. A DUI can leave a long standing mark on your life and your livelihood. Consult with your attorney and figure out the steps you need to take to maximize your chances of success in the courtroom. Panicking now only serves to condemn you in the future, so keep your head up, take a deep breath, and call your attorney.
+Andrew is one of the leading DUI and criminal defense attorneys in both the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. He blogs about Maryland DUI law on the Alpert Schreyer blog, has numerous videos on the subject and has been asked to appear on national television to offer his legal opinion on high-profile criminal cases.