Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq.

How to Prevent Getting Pulled Over After a Night Out

Apr, 21 2017 - By: S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq.
prevent getting pulled over

Nothing ruins a fun night out more than getting pulled over by the police. But police don’t randomly pull over civilians. There are certain signs that they look for. And that means that there are certain things you can avoid. That knowledge can help you to prevent getting pulled over. Here are a few tips that can keep you from a night that ends with a police officer reading you your rights.

1. Keep It down

There are a few things that can really make you stand out to an officer. Loud music and yelling can tip off cops to a possible DUI, so keep the noise low. Even a noisy muffler can get you unwanted attention. Ask any passengers to keep it down, and you may be able to avoid attracting law enforcement.

Loud noise does more than just draw attention. It gives the appearance that you’re out for a good time. Even if you and your passengers are completely sober, loud noises can make it seem like you’re not. There’s no need to cast suspicion, so do your best to keep it down.

2. No Multitasking

Sure, you might be perfectly capable of applying lipstick while you drive. But that’s a great way to get some unwanted attention. Put down your phone, throw your bag of fast food in the passenger’s seat, and focus on the road. Officers have cracked down on texting and driving, so do your best to keep your phone out of reach. Even the light from your phone might be enough to spark an officer’s interest in your vehicle.

The problem isn’t only that an officer might see you multitasking. The real issue is that it takes your focus off the road. And although that’s never a good thing, it’s even worse when you’ve had a night out. Any distractions can make you swerve or drive inconsistently, and that is a red flag to police.

3. No Illegal Driving

Although this tip should be a given, it is easier said than done. Breaking traffic rules give police officers a legitimate reason to pull you over. Follow all of the traffic laws and don’t give them a reason to stop you. Following the traffic laws means that you should wear your seat belt and drive the speed limit. Driving too fast is always a likely reason for an officer to pull you over. However, driving slow is sometimes an indication of a drunk driver. If you drive the speed limit, you may avoid a run-in with police.

You should also be careful when you change lanes. If you fail to signal when you change lanes, or you change too quickly or slowly, you can attract attention. Always use your signal and do your best to drive safely. Tailgating can also be dangerous, so be sure to keep enough space between you and the car in front of you. And at traffic lights, avoid inching up too closely to the car in front of you.

4. Keep Your Vehicle Maintained

An officer often notices things like broken headlights or taillights. Do some pre-party preparations. If you plan to drive home after a night out, check your lights before you go and make sure they all work. Before you go out, make sure your registration is up-to-date. If you have out-of-state plates, you can draw unwanted attention. Your best bet is to take a vehicle with state plates.

Even maintenance issues, like cracks in your windshield, can catch the eye of a police officer. And even if your car just has cosmetic damage,the damage could convince a police officer that you look suspicious. Beat up and old vehicles are often targets for police. Make sure you maintain your vehicle regularly, and eager officers may avoid pulling you over.

5. Stay Calm

When a police cruiser gets behind you, it’s hard not to worry. But stressing out about a police car’s presence can make you a target. The police officer can see into your car and will notice if you stare at him in the rearview mirror. Place your eyes on the road and try to relax.

A common mistake is to make the first turn you see. That can also seem suspicious. Instead, continue on your route calmly. Staying cool and calm is the best way to prevent getting pulled over.

Why Is It Important to Prevent Getting Pulled Over?

When a police officer pulls you over after a long night out, it’s more than just inconvenient. It could lead to some serious consequences, like a DUI charge. Only a few drinks can give you a blood alcohol content that’s above the legal limit.

If you don’t attract the attention of police, you may be able to end your night without incident. But if you do, you may find yourself in need of a Rhode Island DUI attorney. With their help, getting pulled over doesn’t have to end with a DUI.

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