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Understanding Questions from Police at a Traffic Stop

How you respond to police questions during a traffic stop could result in you incriminating yourself

If you get pulled over, you will feel uncomfortable. The police officer who pulls you over knows this. Sometimes they intentionally intimidate you. Before you start answering them, remember that there is a reason for everything they ask you. Understanding the intent behind those questions can help you protect yourself and your legal rights.

How Are You Doing?

This feels completely innocuous. The officer who pulled you over is doing two things here. One is trying to get you to let your guard down; we all feel compelled to answer this kind of question in a friendly manner. Beyond this, it’s an opening for you to tell the officer you are tired, or to slur your speech if you have been drinking.

Where Are You Coming From?

Again, this sounds harmless enough. If you’ve been out with friends, or visiting a bar, or otherwise drinking or taking drugs, it can become a trap for you to incriminate yourself. Don’t be rude, but do not overshare in ways that give the officer a reason to suspect you of being intoxicated. Be careful not to say too much.

Any Issues With Your Vehicle?

This is getting into more dangerous territory. If you are driving an unsafe vehicle, you can get into legal trouble. The officer is trying to lead you into admitting a mistake that makes it unsafe for you to drive. Even a minor issue can give the officer a reason to inspect the vehicle.

Have You Had Anything to Drink?

If you’ve been having a pleasant conversation, this can sneak up on you. When you get pulled over, don’t talk about any alcohol consumption, even a single drink several hours ago. Remember that you do not have to answer.

Whether you share too much or not, a traffic stop can lead to trouble. If you’ve been arrested for an OWI or other traffic violation, an experienced attorney becomes critical. Contact Eisenberg Law Offices online or at (608)256-8356 to learn how we can help.