The sight of the blue and red flashing lights makes anyone's heart race, but stays calm. First don't slam on your breaks, that's almost a sure fire way to ask the police to pull you over for speeding or reckless or careless driving. Be reasonably sure the police are trying to stop you. If they are pursuing right behind you and don't attempt to pass you should slow down and look for a safe place to stop on the side of the road. Perhaps you will get lucky and as you pull to the side the cruiser will pass you and you'll suffer nothing more than a rapid pulse but if not find a safe spot and pull over. If pulling over would put you in danger then signal the police by putting on your flashers to let them know you see them. Then pull over at the first safe opportunity in a controlled manner.
If Your Not So Sure.
If you are concerned about whether the person pulling you over is really a police officer there are some things you can do. First do you recognize the vehicle as a marked police car? Second if it is an unmarked car it should still have flashing blue and red lights perhaps on top of the dash board or inside the front grill of the car. Police vehicles will use both blue and red lights together. They will not use only red or only blue. If you are at all concerned dial 911 and tell them who you are, where you are and what you are doing. Ask them to either confirm that the vehicle following you is a police vehicle or send a marked vehicle with a uniformed officer to meet you. You have the right to ask any officer to show you his badge. Read what's on the badge!
Once You Are Stopped.
Once you have pulled over and are comfortable that it is in fact the police that stopped you, Do not get out of the car! I repeat DO NOT GET OUT OF THE CAR! This can be seen as a threat by the officer or Trooper. Remain in your vehicle until the officer approaches you. You do not have to shut the vehicle off unless the officer tells you to do so. The officer will approach from the rear of your vehicle and stand slightly behind you. If you have more than one passenger he may call other police there for his safety.
Keep your and your passengers hands where the officer can see them i.e. on the steering wheel or in front of you. Be respectful at all times to the officer, don't pull rank, in other words don't tell him your taxes pay his salary or that you know the mayor. That's a surefire way to get at least a ticket. Don't go looking for your insurance and registration until he asks you for them. Your rooting around the glove box could be misunderstood by him that you are hiding somethi
What Information to Provide
It's best to communicate through a slightly open window. You want to be cooperative but don't want to give him the opportunity to think he smells anything in the car or on your breath that he shouldn't. Step out of the car ONLY if the officer asks you to do so. Make sure your license, registration and insurance are easy to find. Fumbling around is often used by police to try and prove a DUI.
You are obligated to provide the officer with the above documents but don't have to tell him if you have been drinking or where you're going or where you have been. In fact if an officer asks if you have had anything to drink that night or day you can say that you respectfully decline to answer. He may put you thought sobriety tests anyway but he will for sure if you have told him that you had even just one drink. Don't lie and be respectful but you can decline to answer. Don't volunteer information. The less you talk the less opportunity you have to get yourself in trouble.
If Your asked to Step Out of The Car.
Do so and comply with the officers directions. If the officer asks you to perform any field sobriety tests make sure you listen to the instructions very carefully and follow them exactly even small deviations can be used to arrest for suspicion of DUI and request a Blood Alcohol Test. If you have any medical conditions illnesses or disabilities tell the officer BEFORE taking the tests.
Blood Alchohol Tests
If Arrested for DUI or DAI be cooperative. If asked to submit to a test of Blood Breath or Urine, you do not have to comply BUT BE AWARE that in Pennsylvania if you refuse to submit to a Blood Alcohol Penn DOT will suspend your license for one year regardless of whether you are convicted of DUI. You do not have a choice of what type of test to take.
If after you are stopped the police ask if they can search your vehicle your best response is to respectfully decline. They may try and press you into a search by saying "if you don't have anything to hide why wouldn't you let us search?" Of course if you do have something to hide the search is going to hurt you and if you don't have something to hide its not going to help you. Your best answer for the police is "respectfully it is my constitutional right not to agree to a search." If they tell you they will get a warrant fine, let them get a warrant and make sure that you see it before they search, don't ever rely on the claim that the warrant is on the way.
Its important to remember that if anything in your vehicle is in plain sight that the police don't need a warrant to confiscate it. That means if the police can see contraband on the seat or floor of the car or in the glove box when you open it up to get your registration and license that is fair game.
Weapons in a Vehicle
At ALL times be incompliance with Pennsylvania Law regarding transporting and carrying firearms. If you have a fire arm in the car and it is stored for example in the glove box or center console where you also keep your license and registration and you need to get them first hand the officer your carry permit and tell him you have a firearm in the glove box wherAt ALL times be incompliance with Pennsylvania Law regarding transporting and carrying firearms. If you have a fire arm in the car and it is stored for example in the glove box or center console where you also keep your license and registration and you need to get them firsthand the officer your carry permit and tell him you have a firearm in the glove box where the registration is kept, He will tell you how he wants you to handle getting the registration.e the registration is kept, He will tell you how he wants you to handle getting the registration.
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