Salisbury Night Time DUI Stops
Being pulled over by the police can be a frightening experience, especially if you happen to be pulled over at night. With this in mind, the following is the typical process of a night time DUI stop and what you should know. To learn more or discuss your DUI stop, call and schedule a consultation with a Salisbury DUI lawyer today.
Differences Between a Night and Day Time Stop
The stops don’t change so much for the police officer, but it could make a huge difference to a driver because a driver may be concerned if the person behind them is actually a police officer. If possible, pull over to a place that is better lit and/or is in a public location.
Other than that, you shouldn’t necessarily do anything differently. Drivers should be very aware of their surroundings and be cognizant of the fact that some people have impersonated police officers before and can do it again. A driver should pay attention to what’s happening around them. This also goes back to how quickly a driver should pullover. Ideally, a driver could pull into a parking lot in a public location that is well lit, but that’s not always going to be an option depending on where the person is driving.
Should You Turn On Your In Car Light?
No, you don’t have to. The officer should not consider it suspicious if you do or you don’t. Remember, if an individual has had something to drink and they are fumbling around trying to find their interior light, the officer would take note of that. Therefore don’t be overly concerned about turning on the interior light.
Things To Avoid At a Nighttime Stop
A driver should avoid making any quick or suspicious movement. Even from where the officer is sitting, behind the driver’s car in their own patrol car, they’re looking at you and they’re watching to see if you’re reaching around and fumbling, either to hide something or to retrieve something. There’s always the possibility that a police officer, when they come to the window, could have a weapon pointed at them. Typically in a situation where they are shot at, is when they’re approaching the car. Police officers are looking at the driver’s behavior from a self-protection standpoint as much as anything else. It’s important for the driver to think about this and refrain from making fast or suspicious movements.
Should You Exit Your Car To Speak to the Officer?
The driver should not exit his or her vehicle unless he or she is asked to do so by the police officer. When a police officer is approaching the vehicle, they are not expecting the driver to get out of the car. In fact, they don’t want the driver to get out of the car. Therefore, the driver should stay in their car. Under the law, if the police officer believes that they have justification to, they can order the driver out of the car. In this case, the driver should comply with that request; to not do so could be considered a violation of the police officer’s order.
Things to Remember During a Night Time Stop
The most important thing to keep in mind during a traffic stop, is that the officer is making observations to see if there is any sort of violation of the law beyond what you were stopped for. This means the officer will be looking to see if the person is driving under the influence or if they observe anything else illegal in the car.
If an officer does observe something illegal, in plain view, such as a weapon that is illegal for the driver to possess, then they can take action on that even if they only stopped the vehicle for something else like speeding. For this reason, it is important to keep in mind that the officer is constantly looking and observing and trying to figure out if there is anything going on that would allow them to investigate further or allow them to write a traffic citation, etc.
Being Pulled Over By An Unmarked Vehicle
If you are pulled over by an unmarked vehicle during the night time you can and should ask to see the officer’s credentials because every police officer has them. A sworn police officer is going to carry some form of identification that will include his name and photograph which you have the right to ask to see. In Maryland, if you are pulled over by an unmarked vehicle and by a police officer wearing plain clothes, you are not required to provide your registration card upon request, because this situation is very different than being pulled over by a police officer wearing a uniform and driving a marked patrol car. If you are suspicious, you can dial 9-1-1 and you can give your location and say what’s happening and ask them to verify that you’re being pulled over by a legitimate police officer, because every time a police officer pulls over a car, he or she is supposed to contact their department, give their location, and say exactly what they’re doing. It should be easy to confirm that the person is in fact a police officer.