Tips For Dealing With A Traffic Stop In Georgia
Avoiding A StopDon't Speed. If you don't see a speed limit sign, look at your GPS device, as most show the posted speed limit on the screen. If you don't have one, get one.
Keep a look out for construction zones. These are typically well covered by law enforcement.
Never remain in the fast lane longer than needed and keep a safe distance from the car you are behind.
Use your blinker when you change lanes and even when you exit onto the off ramp. The latter is not legally required but some cops don't know that, so better do it to avoid the stop.
Check your lights, break lights and blinkers before you set out on the road by doing a walk around. Check the tag light too. Many stops are for equipment.
Keep your window tint legal.
Wear your seatbelt.
Never drive over 85 mph anywhere or 75 mph on a two lane highway or risk a super speeder ticket.
When You See The Lights behind YOUAssume that it is you the cop is stopping--slow down and get ready to pull over. If it's not you and he goes past, get over in the inner lane and give the cop room. That's the law! Regain composure and set your cruise control.
If the lights are for you, pull over fairly quick (remember you're not an airplane landing, you don't need a half mile to stop). Get over and stop.
Always have your insurance and registration on your visor and roll down your window. Only get out when/if told by the officer. Follow instructions and don't ask questions. Keep answers short and to the point. Admit nothing. For example, Question by officer: " Did you know you were speeding?" Answer: NO. Don't ever get an attitude.
Dealing With The CopRemember, even cops get nervous when they get pulled over off duty. It's normal.
Stay calm and be friendly.
If you had a few drinks and are asked if you've been drinking there are several things to consider. An answer of yes will probably result in a series of DUI questions and feild sobriety tests. You can be charged with "less safe" DUI even if you are under the legal limit of .08 BAC (over 21 yoa) so be careful what you admit. Never do field sobriety tests. You don't have to. You are not required to blow into the Alcho Sensor box used roadside. You don't have to say your ABC's or touch your nose. You don't have to walk the straight line. Say no. Period. Never lean against your car or the cops car. Don't ramble on--just be quiet. It's your call if you refuse the designated test (blood breath or urine) chosen by the officer. The breath is the Intox 5000 at the police station--not the roadside box. If you refuse, your license to drive will be suspended.*
Search IssuesOften, the issue of a search crops up during a stop. If the cop wants to do a pat down of your person, comply. If he wants to search your car, he usually will just do it without asking. But if he asks, say No. Don't ask why--just say no. If he wants to ask "why not," just say "that's my right and my lawyer Ken Teal always says to say no, sorry."
When a cop says "here's your ticket, you are free to go," and then says "let me just ask you a couple of things"...say sorry, but I've got to go. Goodbye. Then proceed to the car and go. If he persists, don't answer his questions, you are free to go. If he orders you to stop then you must stop. But you don't have to answer his questions.
Final ThoughtsCops are not allowed to use laser or radar to clock speeding under 10 mph over the speed limit. They can't use these devices where a grade (incline or hill) is more than 7%, but troopers can. Cops must be visible for 500 feet to use them, but not troopers.
Some cops still "profile," so don't be a target.
*Suspension of drivers' licenses are subject to ALS hearings (if requested in time).
Always go see a lawyer right after you get a suspension notice--he may be able to save your license.
Drive well and be safe.