This guide has many important tips one should follow in any jurisdiction when confronting a traffic stop, but there are sections that impart Georgia specific advice. When the advice is specific to Georgia, I have inserted a "GA" in the section to highlight that.
Please note that these opinions are developed from having defended close to 100 DWI/DUI cases, but the opinions of other lawyers may differ. This guide should not be constituted as legal advice.
The Stop ? What to Do, and What Not to Do
If you are ever stopped by an officer in a traffic situation, there are several things you can do to make the interaction smoother and safer. It begins by acknowledging that police officers have dangerous jobs, and they approach every traffic stop with a heightened sense of security. You can make them more at ease, ensure the traffic stop is as safe as possible for all parties, and accumulate some goodwill, by following a few simple steps:
- Turn on your inside dome light. This will allow the officer to easily see inside your vehicle as he approaches.
- Have your registration card and proof of insurance within reach. You should have these ready and in-hand, along with your driver's license, when the officer approaches so you can minimize the need to engage in conversation.
- Leave your seat belt fastened. The last thing you want to deal with is having an officer ticketing you for not wearing your seat belt, even though you were, because you unfastened it before he approached the vehicle.
- Leave your hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2. This hand position allows the officer to easily see where your hands are as he approaches, and eliminates any fear that you may have a weapon.
- Have the driver's side window lowered if weather permits.
Now that the easy stuff is out of the way, we can get to the heart of what happens during a DWI/DUI stop.