What do you do when pulled over by the police? This really depends on the situation, but there are some tips that work for traffic stops, especially those where the officer suspects a DUI or OVI.
Be aware that the officer and perhaps his video camera is watching your every move. Signal and pull over right away, but do so smoothly, safely, and completely. Put the car into park or, if you have a stick-shift, move the gear to neutral and set the parking brake. Have your license, registration and insurance in hand as quickly as possible. Keep your seat belt on. Turn off the radio and roll your window down. When the officer approaches your vehicle and asks for your driver’s license, registration and insurance, hand them over. If you still have not located these items, ask the officer for permission before going to retrieve them. This will alert the officer that you are merely trying to comply with his or her request and that you are not retrieving a weapon. The officer will be noting whether you are having difficulty finding these items, especially if it looks clumsy. The officer may ask questions. You should either politely decline or keep your answers short and true, without admitting anything.
The officer may ask you to exit your vehicle. This is a good time to ensure that your vehicle is in park or in neutral with the parking brake engaged. Remove your seat belt and steadily open the door. Do not lean on the door for balance.
The officer may ask you to do field sobriety tests. Ask the officer if the tests are being recorded. If they are not, your performance will be your word against the officer’s. If they are, the video will reveal how well you performed. If you have any physical problems, such as bad knees, point them out. Most officers will administer the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test and the one leg stand test as set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The horizontal gaze nystagmus test has three possible clues:
- Lack of smooth pursuit;
- Distinct and sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation;
- Onset of nystagmus prior to 45 degrees.
The walk and turn test has eight possible clues:
- Cannot keep balance while listening to the instructions;
- Starts before the instructions are finished;
- Stops while walking;
- Does not touch heel to toe;
- Steps off the line;
- Uses arms for balance;
- Improper turn;
- Incorrect number of steps.
The one leg stand test has four possible clues:
- Sways while balancing;
- Uses arms for balance;
- Puts foot down.
If you liked this article, take a look at some of my other articles: where does my traffic ticket go to in Ohio, driver’s license is not necessary for non-motor vehicles, changes to Ohio DUI laws, when the driver gets the owner of the car in trouble, drug dogs, Ohio’s expanded rights in traffic stops, when help gets you arrested, and suspended driver’s license in Ohio. I have successfully defended individuals for both misdemeanor and felony offenses, as set forth in the case highlights section. Attorney Gigiano’s hard work has resulted in highly successful results for many of his clients, as reflected in the following links to his reviews: reviews of Daniel Gigiano; ratings of Daniel Gigiano; work of Daniel Gigiano.
Attorney Gigiano is a Medina County Traffic Attorney in Wadsworth and Akron traffic attorney near Barberton, and has litigated numerous traffic and DUI cases in the courts in Medina County, Summit County, Wayne County, Stark County, Cuyahoga County, and other counties. His diligence has earned good reviews for Daniel Gigiano in a number of places online. When you work as hard as Attorney Gigiano has for as long as he has, your work gets noticed online. If you have questions about this or other questions you need answered by a Wooster traffic attorney near Orrville, please call Attorney Daniel F. Gigiano at 330-336-3330.