In the realm of being a DUI defense attorney there is a term that strikes fear in us all. That term is: “Pretextual Stops.”
The legal definition of “pretext” is “A false or weak reason or motive advanced to hide the actual or strong reason or motive.” With DUI cases this is important to understand because many times it is the reason police use to pull someone over.
For example, it is very difficult for a police officer to detect that a person is driving after they have been drinking, until they make personal contact with the person. They can’t smell a person’s breath, see if they are wobbly on their feet, notice whether a driver’s eyes are watery and bloodshot, whether their words are slurred, or anything else about that driver’s state UNTIL THEY PULL THEM OVER. And they know it.
Because of this the police are specifically trained to look for any lawful reason to stop a vehicle. It could be a burnt out tail light or headlight, or any other piece of faulty equipment on a car. It can also be obvious things like speeding, or failing to use a turn signal when changing lanes. It can be ANYTHING THAT VIOLATES THE DRIVING LAWS.
Any of these things in turn give them the right to contact the driver and start their “investigation” into what they think might be really going on with a person seen pulling out of a bar parking lot in the wee hours of the morning. Catch my drift?
How To Not Get Pulled Over By The Police
Therefore, in order to protect your self from pretextual stops remember to do the following:
1) Regularly test your break lights, head lights, turn signals, etc. to make sure they are all working properly.
2) Avoid anything flashy that might draw attention to your vehicle (illegal window tint, unneeded lights, etc.)
3) Don’t play excessively loud music.
4) Most importantly, pay attention to your driving and to make sure you obey the basic traffic laws.
Arrested? Call Us Today at 206.973.0407.
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If you want my help, just call 206.973.0407 anytime day or night and we’ll set up a time for you to come in and talk to me about your case. The consultation is always free, and I’ll let you know what I think about your case and see if I’m the right criminal defense attorney to help you out.
Stryder J. Wegener is the author of this article, the co-founder of Emerald City Law Group, and a damn good criminal defense attorney.