Friday, August 15, 2008

How To Survive Being Pulled Over By The Police

My father who has since passed was a police officer for 25 years. Needless to say I grew up around the police as all of my fathers friends were police officers as well. Now I have only been pulled over twice in my entire life but I have seen some people do some kooky things when being pulled over.

When you see the lights flashing behind you:

1.) Put your blinker on and immediately pull off to the shoulder as soon as it is safe to do so. Pull as far over as you can, the police officer will appreciate the room (and not being hit by a careless motorist while talking to you). Most police will actually pull their car over not as far as you did so their car acts as a barrier while they are talking to you. They may even come up on your passenger side if traffic is really thick.

2.) Put on your hazard lights.

3.) If it is night time turn on your interior light so the officer can see inside your vehicle while he is still inside his. He will appreciate that as well.

4.) Keep your hands on the steering wheel until the officer comes up to your window and starts to speak with you.

5.) I keep my registration and insurance card in the glove compartment. If you do as well explain that to the officer and ASK if it ok for you to retrieve them.

6.) BE POLITE...if you are a dick you will most certainly be getting a ticket.

7.) Be honest, don't try and bullshit them as they have heard it all.

I have found that if you follow these tips most officers may give you a break or warning. If you did something really stupid or they see you have a bad driving record most times you will be getting a ticket no matter how nice you were.

In SC it is legal to have a loaded weapon in the center console, trunk or glove compartment. If you do TELL the officer.

If you are a Concealed Weapon Permit holder and are packing, I would hand my permit over with my license. The police officer may or may not say a word. He may ask you if you are currently carrying. Just be sure to follow his instructions explicitly to avoid having him feel uncomfortable with the situation...because nothing good will come of that.

Let's face it, many people don't like or distrust the police...whatever your feelings, these guys have a tough job and have to worry about making it home to their families in one piece every give them a break and they may just do the same for you.

...that is all.

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  1. I say two things to cops, yes sir and no sir. Period. I will answer questions with the fewest words possible. Never give them anything to use against you. Never allow them to search your vehicle without a warrant, I don't care if the only thing in your vehicle is YOU. And if you've had a drink or two, NEVER blow in a breathalyzer!!!! EVER!!! Cops might be "just doing their job", but they still get their marching orders from a bunch of JBTs. And if anyone ever tells you that there is no such thing as ticket quotas, they are a bald face liar!!!

  2. 2 notes on that...state laws vary

    1.) Cops CANNOT search your car without reasonable suspicion in most cases...bear in mind the threshold for that is lower than probable cause.

    2.) Refusal to blow into a breathalyzer in some states (such as NJ) is basically admitting guilt and you will be convicted in court of be very SURE of your states laws regarding that.

  3. Keep in mind in Ohio when you have concealed carry they know because it been reported to the DMV. So when they run the tags be prepared an smart both hands on the wheel a nervous rookie could be a bad thing!

  4. Very good point scoutinlife...I believe it is the same in SC because a CWP permit looks just like a DL here only it's a different color...

    Listen nobody is saying spill your guts or anything...Mayberry's suggestion of "yes sir" and "no sir" are good ones...just don't dig yourself any "holes" if you know what I mean ;)

  5. I used to feel the way you do concerning the police, that they have tough jobs so give them a break and some respect and so on and so forth. The police officers I have known were good men, men I respect. Unfortunately, they are retired.

    However, in the past few years, I have noticed LOTS of news stories about police tasering anybody--disabled people in wheelchairs, kids with broken backs, old ladies, and in particular *anyone* who doesn't immediately respond to a police man's command. Thus the kid with the broken back got tasered...19 times. He couldn't respond to "get up" quickly enough. Tasers are the newest torture tool, and it seems that police officers everywhere love to use these things. They are, of course, lethal, even though billed as nonlethal. Over 200 deaths by tasers--and we will see this number rise, betcha.

    I pay attention to reality. That is how you survive. I don't know all the particulars in any one of these cases reported on the net or in newspapers. I don't know if the cop felt threatened by the dog they then killed, or the 19 year old kid lying on the ground with a broken back. How "threatened" can a grown man be by such a situation?

    But I do know that as I have read and heard of these stories, that my respect for cops has gone downhill. Ever since 2001, 9/11/2001 when it seems the department of Homeland Security took over all local cops, that is. It is my guess that this is why even local cops now act so brutally towards all manner of folks. That this is some directive from DHS or something. I don't know this for a fact, but it probably wouldn't be hard to find out.

    I have a file I've kept of these stories that I've noticed in the past year or so. It's 80 some pages and rising. What's with all this?

    It seems from all the news stories that the cop who tasered (or beat up, or stripped naked the woman in the cell--male officers, that is, or killed) the citizen is *never held accountable.* They are "acting within the protocals for use of a taser" or they "acted in accordance with our established procedures..." or whatever.

    As someone who tries to look at reality, it seems to me that cops now are a danger to the local populace. Would I be anything but polite in a traffic stop? Hell no! I'll live through it if I can. Will I continue to give cops the break that "they do a tough job, protecting the citizen..." and all the rest of that bullshit? Sure. If they ever act that way again.

    But for now? I don't fear the random "terrorist." Not a bit. They are the boogeyman created by I fear the local Stasi cops with tasers who kill with these non lethal weapons, usually with impunity.

  6. ^^^This folks is what is called prejudicial rhetoric.

  7. BTW you should start a blog...people will love you.

  8. All of that is good advice. I am seeing enough horrible stuff happening that comes to nothing that my respect for cops is rapidly slipping away. In any case that is all good advice to make interactions with police as positive as possible. Remember that if you get pulled over more then once a year you should look at your driving habits. In that way you can dramatically control how often you need to interact with cops.

  9. Any time I deal with cops I just act really
    stupid but not annoying or confrontational,
    they can't wait to get you on your way.

  10. FWIW I know for a fact that cops in my local area were competing to see who'd be the first to use a taser. There is a punishment for the officer whom is last. How do I know? My brother is one of the officers and he was the second (responding to a drunken brawl).

  11. As a law enforcement officer, I would like to commend the original author for some very useful tips. A nighttime vehicle stop can be an extremely stressful event. Many officers have been killed by armed felons, psychos, drunk or stupid drivers, etc. An officer on a stop is entering into a highly emotional and confrontational situation, oftentimes alone, and it is highly likely he is thinking about getting out alive with as little problem as possible. If you are a law abiding citizen who has made a mistake, he is doing his job and correcting it; he is enforcing the law which is what the people of your state agreed should be done and what they pay him to do. Do not make him worry about his life or an escalating scene and things should be good.
    That said, I will reiterate: pull over as soon as possible- nothing like a failure to yield to get his stress level up. Make it safe for him to approach you, think about light, think about your hands, think about what he can see- realize he does not know who you are or what you have or what you've done other than a traffic infraction. Eye contact is good. Mutual respect is good. Do not ask to shake his hand. Stay in the car unless he asks you to exit. All good advice.

  12. I would leave some room in your suggestions. Here in Pennsylvania, we are not required to inform an officer if we are carrying. I have heard of some gung ho young officers pulling people out of vehicles like felons for handing over a License to conceal. The 5th Amendment guarantees that you do not have to talk. So dont! Give required license, insurance, registration and silence.