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Traffic Stops—What Not To Do

Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol is life-threatening.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates impaired drivers hit the road 112 million times across the country in 2010, with one in three fatalities influenced by alcohol.

If reading this, you might avoid some mistakes if pulled over, or caught up at a sobriety checkpoint in Berks County or anywhere in Pennsylvania.

If you have already been arrested, you may recognize a few mistakes that helped law enforcement with their job.

Consider these tips if approaching a checkpoint or when you see flashing lights in the rear view:

  • Take a deep breath, use your turn signal and carefully pull off to the side of the road.  Do not speed up, drive away, or pull roughly into the nearest parking lot.
  • Do not get out of your car.  Open the window and get some fresh air.  Be polite, provide your license and registration and do not initiate conversation. Remain silent.
  • Do not explain where you were earlier in the evening or how sober you feel.
  • Do not exit your vehicle for roadside field sobriety testing — it is not required by law and even fully sober people can fail.  But refusing to be transported for a Breathalyzer® or blood test can cost your license.
  • If arrested, do not wait to call an attorney.

Reducing drunk driving is important and law enforcement is just doing their job.  But sometimes the police make mistakes — so try not to make any mistakes of your own.

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