The Initial Reason You May be Pulled Over by the Police

November 25, 2012, by GuestBlogger.

When a police officer pulls you over, you can’t help but wonder why the officer asked you to stop since you’ve been diligently driving along. You know that you didn’t break any traffic law, so why did the cop stop you? Well, first and foremost, a police officer must have a valid reason for asking you to stop. Without just cause, he cannot detain you. But sometimes, we may think that we’re not doing something wrong. Still, cops have well-trained eyes that can easily ascertain if something is amiss. Maybe one of your car’s headlights isn’t working or maybe you’re driving too fast or too slow. All in all, cops usually have a reason why they’ll ask you to stop. Here are some examples.

- Displaying Suspicious Driving Behavior

Alcohol affects people in many ways. It influences a person’s physical and mental abilities, which can easily be seen by the way he drives. So, cops will probably call the attention of drivers who change lanes improperly, swerve, or drive too fast or maybe too slow especially when on a fast lane. Someone who fails to follow traffic light signals or one who makes illegal turns or very wide turns will likely be pulled over as well. Hence, a person who drives hazardously will be stopped by traffic cops.

- Broken or Malfunctioning Vehicle Lights

If you are cruising along in a car with busted headlights, taillights or turn signals, then don’t be surprised when a police officer signals you to halt. Lights are important to a car because these illuminate the way. More importantly, turn signals let other drivers and pedestrians know where you’re going. When your car’s lights are not working properly, you are more likely to get into a road traffic accident.

- Distracted Driving

These days, there are so many things that distract drivers like: using or talking on the phone; checking emails or sending messages using laptops or smartphones; putting on makeup; or changing clothes. Police officers are on the lookout for distracted drivers because once a driver’s attention is not on the road, even for just a few seconds, he could cause an accident that may harm not just his car or himself, but also others. So, don’t ever let a cop see you take a drink from a cup while you’re manning your vehicle, even if it’s just coffee.

- Unidentifiable License Plates or Expired Tags

Make sure that your license plate is visible. Clean this if it’s caked with mud or very dusty. Don’t wait for an officer to call your attention to how dirty or unreadable your license plate is. In some states, like California, there must be a license plate in front and at the back of an automobile. Make sure that car tags are not expired as well.

What Happens If Your Are Pulled Over

Once you’re pulled over for the reasons cited above, the police officer will ask you questions. Be sure to answer as politely as you can, and don’t give them any idea that you’ve been drinking. Make sure that you don’t have beer cans lying around or check if your breath reeks of alcohol. A police officer might perform breath or field sobriety tests if you display certain behavior that indicates that you’re drunk, such as being glassy-eyed, speaking incoherently or having slurred speech, fumbling, or failure to understand the cop or follow directions.

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Claire Shaun is a freelance writer. She regularly blogs about personal injury cases and DUIs. She also writes for where you can find expert assistance and sound advice about DUI or DWI cases.

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