A police officer approaching you can be a nerve-wracking experience. Even if you have not had much interaction with authorities, you could find yourself pulled over by an officer while driving a vehicle, and your situation could turn against you quickly.

It is common to feel your heart start to race, and for your palms to become sweaty when you see flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror and hear the recognizable sound of the patrol vehicle’s siren. Though you may think you have done nothing wrong, you know that officers could view a situation very differently than you, and you can feel nervous, nonetheless.

How you should act during a traffic stop?

Knowing how to interact with police officers can go a long way in helping your ordeal. Though you may want to answer any questions openly, it is wise to remember that officers want to gain as many details as possible, particularly to find something they could use against you. If an officer does conduct a traffic stop, remember the following tips:

  • Stop your vehicle: Attempting to flee when an officer tries to pull you over will only make the situation worse.
  • Remain calm: Though you may feel nervous, an officer may consider any jittery activity or movements as suspicious. It could lead him or her to suspect you of trying to hide evidence.
  • Speak politely: Police officers do hold a position of authority, and speaking to an officer in a polite and respectful tone is an appropriate approach. Acting combative or rude may cause an officer to feel endangered and provide more reason for an arrest.
  • Answer concisely: If an officer asks you a question, you do have the right to remain silent, even if you are not under arrest. However, if you do feel compelled to answer any questions, keep your responses short and to the point without volunteering any additional details.
  • Remember your rights: If an officer suspects you of DWI, he or she may request that you participate in field sobriety tests, but you have the right to refuse to participate in those tests. However, if an officer wants to conduct a breath test, Minnesota law makes it mandatory to provide a breath sample.
  • Remain cooperative: If an officer does feel the need to place you under arrest, remain cooperative. Resisting or acting in a combative manner could make the situation worse and could lead to more charges.

Being taken into custody for DWI is certainly a difficult ordeal to face. Fortunately, you have the legal right to defend against any criminal accusations brought against you.