Despite public campaigns that depict drunk drivers as belligerent or stumbling over themselves, most DWI’s stem from routine traffic stops. This is because officers need a valid reason to pull someone over before conducting a DWI investigation. Whether or not you have been drinking, it’s smart to practice safe driving habits to avoid unwanted traffic tickets. Here are some helpful driving tips to protect against unwanted traffic stops:
1. Be mindful of the attention your vehicle can attract. If you’re driving a sports car, have excessive vehicle customizations, or other noticeable features, you should be aware that your vehicle may attract more attention than others. Some officers may assume the worst if your car is out of the ordinary, and can find ways to assess obscure tickets related to vehicle customizations, such as window tint. Just be mindful that your vehicle may be an easy target for officers looking for reasons to pull vehicles over.
2. Don’t drive too fast or too slow. While this may seem counterintuitive, driving too fast or too slow can make you a prime target for a traffic stop. Driving too fast can result in a speeding ticket while driving too slow can raise an officer’s suspicion that you may be trying to overcompensate for something. It’s good practice to drive no more than 10 under or over the speed limit to blend in with the normal flow of traffic and not draw unnecessary attention from law enforcement.
3. Keep all of your driving related requirements up to date. There’s no easier way for an officer to stop you than to run your license plate and initiate a traffic stop due to a suspension or expired tags. This can further lead to tickets for out-of-date insurance, inspection, license etc. Don’t give officers a ticket freebie, or worse, a more serious ticket such as driving on a suspended license etc. Be sure to keep the above current to avoid a small inconvenience that can turn into a bigger one.
4. Try to avoid driving when you’re emotional. Emotions can effect on our judgement and cause us to act in ways we might not otherwise. Try to avoid driving or give yourself time to relax if you have just learned distressing or upsetting news. Driving under emotional distress can cause erratic driving and might make a conversation with an officer less pleasant than under normal circumstances.
5. Don’t drink and drive. While simple and straightforward, this tip is going to help you avoid any unnecessary or undesirable situations. You gamble when you get behind the wheel after drinking. You not only risk a DWI, but also injury to yourself or others.
6. Perform regular maintenance on your vehicle. It’s important to upkeep your vehicle because an inadvertent flat tire or muffler issue can lead to police involvement. Take notice of any vehicle repairs that need attention and take care of them as soon as possible to avoid tickets and accidents.
7. Plan out your route beforehand if you aren’t familiar with an area. Nothing says I’m from out-of-town more than sudden stops, hesitation, or slow driving. Coincidently, these can also be interpreted as signs of impaired driving. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with an area you are not used to driving in so that you don’t commit any traffic infractions that could lead to a traffic stop.
8. Don’t use your cell phone while driving. The penalties for operating a vehicle while using an electronic device continues to rise. If not to avoid the ticket, don’t use your cell phone for the safety of yourself and others around you. Distracted driving has and will continue to cause unnecessary accidents.
9. Brush up on traffic rules every so often. It never hurts to refresh your memory every now and again from what may seem like lifetimes between now and your driver’s ed class. Practicing traffic rules such as coming to a complete stop at a traffic sign and slowing down at a yellow light doesn’t hurt either.
10. Avoid driving if you don’t feel like yourself. It’s never safe to drive if you feel out of the ordinary, especially if you have medical conditions that could hamper your effectiveness as a safe driver. Always consult with a physician if you have medical conditions that could affect your driving ability and be aware of symptoms or feelings that may require medical attention.
Hopefully these tips help you avoid unwanted vehicle tickets and even protect yourself and others from harm. Should you ever find yourself in a situation related to a traffic stop, it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney to assess and challenge the validity of traffic stops.
The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: (315) 473-0899. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.