Process of a DUI Stop in Salisbury
The following is information on what you can expect if pulled over by law enforcement in Maryland. For more information on your Salisbury DUI stop or to fight your charge, call and schedule a consultation with a Salisbury DUI lawyer today.
Step 1: The Initial Stop
As soon as your see sirens in your review mirror, you should find a place to pull-over and get off the roadway. Some people may feel that they need to go to a location that they deem safe and/or more public, however, it’s important to keep in mind some police officers will understand this desire and others will not.
An aggressive police officer might consider a driver who is not pulling over immediately as somebody who is attempting to elude the officer and then they will add these charges to the list of citations that they will issue to the driver. For this reason, most attorney would advise that you pull over as quickly as possible in a manner that is safe.
If absolutely need to look for a safe place to pull over, then you should use your turn signal or hazards in order to give the officer a visual indication that you are actively trying to pull your car over.
Step 2: Actions While In Your Car
Once you have pulled over and come to a stop, you should put your car in park, roll down the window, and be prepared to give the police officer your driver’s license and your registration. These are the two documents that the officer is going to ask for immediately and you can be cited for failing to display your registration card or for failing to display your license on demand. Whenever you get into your vehicle, it’s important to know where your license is located and where you keep your registration.
Additionally because reaching for the glove box before an officer asks may seem suspicious, there’s no harm in waiting until the police officer is at your window. When he asks for the registration, you can tell him or her that your registration is in the glove box and that you need to reach over there to get it.
Where Your Hands Should Be
Your hands should be in a place where the officer can see them. They could be on the steering wheel. They could be in your lap. They just need to be in a place where the officer can see them, because the officer, when approaching the car, is wondering whether or not the driver has a weapon. Weapons are kept, oftentimes, between the seats or in a side panel on the door. Having your hands in one of these locations is very suspicious for the police officer and will probably lead to further investigation. It, also, could appear that the driver is attempting to conceal something, which is going to provoke the police officer’s suspicion. The best approach to this situation is to have your hands in a visible place where the officer can see them.
Step 3: Interaction With The Officer
The first thing an officer is going to ask the driver for is their license and their registration. The officer is also going to begin his investigation of a potential DUI at that exact moment by getting the driver to speak and detecting if there is any alcohol on that person’s breath. In addition, an officer will likely ask questions to see how the driver responds. Ideally, the driver should respond with logical answers that are coherent. If the driver responds in some illogical fashion or if the answers are incoherent, the officer is going to make a note of that as potential evidence that the person is DUI.
The officer is also going to be listening to hear if the person’s speech is slurred because slurred speech is a result of consuming too much alcohol. The driver needs to understand that they’re going to be asked questions and they’re going to be asked questions for a lot of different reasons.
Drivers should also anticipate that an officer is going to ask them where have they been and/or if they have consumed any alcoholic beverages. All of these statements could be used against the driver at a DUI trial. If the driver admits to having consumed four mixed drinks, that could be very incriminating at a later trial. If the driver admits that they consumed 4 mixed drinks over 6 hours, that would be different and that would not necessarily be indicative of driving under the influence.
Answering An Officer’s Questions
A driver has the right to refuse to answer an officer’s questions. All the operator of the motor vehicle is required to do is give the officer their license, registration, and identifying information such as their name. However, questions including where have you been or have you consumed any alcoholic beverages, are not related to the investigation or the driver’s identity and do not have to be answered. These questions are used by the police officer to gather evidence and could help cite somebody with a DUI. Therefore, the driver has the right to refuse to answer them.
Step 4: Receiving A Ticket
After you provide your information, you should expect that the officer is going to take the documents and go back to his or her patrol car and he or she is going to run your name and run the registration card to make sure that the registration is still valid. The officer will also look to see if the person has a clean driving record or if the person is suspended or revoked. Furthermore, the officer is going to be running the person’s name to see if there are any outstanding warrants for the driver.
What To Look At After Receiving a Ticket
It’s best to just look at the ticket later, the police officer will not take back that ticket. They will not engage in some sort of debate with the driver about the validity of the ticket so it’s best to take the ticket and then take it to an attorney and have the attorney review it to see if there is anything that is defective with the ticket.
Some people refuse to sign the ticket, which is not a good idea. Some are told by the officer to sign the ticket and they refuse to do so. Perhaps they refuse because they believe that signing it is an acknowledgement of guilt. However, police officers will instruct the driver to sign it as a notification that they received the ticket. It is not an acknowledgement that they broke the traffic laws and it’s important for people to understand that. You want to sign the ticket. By signing it, you are not hindering yourself later at a court trial.