If you’re a North Carolina motorist, at some point in time, you’ll probably get pulled over a by a police officer. This can be a nerve-wracking experience because police can appear intimidating, and they have the capacity to arrest you or give you a costly traffic ticket, so it’s understandable if you’re nervous. Nevertheless, it’s important that you keep your wits about you during the traffic stop and adhere to the following advice:
As soon as you see the officer’s flashing lights, find a safe place to pull off to the side of the road. Don’t make sudden movements with your car. Use your turn signal to indicate that you are going to slow down and stop once there’s an opening to do so.
After pulling over, stay calm and don’t jerk around in your vehicle as this could make the officer think you’re aggressive or trying to hide something as he approaches. Turn your inner dome light on, turn your car off and put your hands on the steering wheel. Only reach for your documents after the officer advises you to do so. This will prevent the officer from thinking you’re going for a weapon.
Stay calm during the conversation and politely ask the officer what was the reason for pulling you over. Don’t argue with the officer, but also, don’t make any admissions of guilt as such statements could later be used against you.
If the officer suspects that you were drinking and driving and arrests you for the crime, you have the right to refuse to answer his or her questions and to ask to speak with your defense attorney. Make sure you know your legal rights by consulting with a qualified DWI attorney if you find yourself in this situation.