How to Avoid Getting Pulled Over

Hello once again.  This is Johnson Law Office serving the Indianapolis, Hamilton County, and Central Indiana area.  At Johnson Law Office, we provide criminal defense.  So if you or someone you know has recently been arrested for a crime, I know that you will benefit from reading this blog.  You will benefit from reading this blog no matter what you have been arrested for, whether that is an OVWI (drunk driving), a drug crime or offense, or any other type of misdemeanor or felony.  Similarly, you might be in need of a hardship driver’s license (now called Special Driving Privileges).

In a previous blog, I wrote on the topic of what to do and not to do if and when you are pulled over.  It occurred to me that it makes sense to think about what to do to avoid getting pulled over by the police in the first place.  Most of these pointers are simply common sense, but sometimes we simply fail to think of these things until it is too late, and we see the police lights behind us.  So here are some ideas as to how to avoid being pulled over by the police:

  1.  Don’t tint your windows to excess.  There is a limit as to how much you are allowed to tint your windows.  It is a good idea not to exceed that limit, because it is illegal to do so, and you become a target for being pulled over.  If your windows are obviously overly tinted, it makes you look like you are hiding something.
  2. Don’t drive like an idiot.  Driving like an idiot takes on many different forms, and it is strongly related to not driving like an inconsiderate, selfish jerk.  This site is rated PG-13 so I need to use the word “jerk” although you may substitute whatever other appropriate word.  But seriously folks, driving like an idiot or a selfish jerk looks like this:  (1) driving so fast that other drivers have to either swerve hard or brake hard to avoid you; (2) weaving in and out of traffic, with or without turn signals.  A quick word about turn signals:  I have seen a lot of the high-speed weaving in and out of traffic, and at the last second, the crazy driver turns on his turn signal as he is turning into the other lane, cutting me off and forcing me to almost stand on my brakes.  Before turning into another lane, you might want to wait until you have gone another 300 feet in your lane.  Just wait about five seconds, then turn.  (3) Don’t pull out in front of someone when you are merging onto the road.  (4) Don’t ignore a yield sign.  Yield actually means yield.  It does not mean to race to the road, cut off the driver with the right of way, and ignore the yield sign.
  3. Don’t ever smoke marijuana in your vehicle.  Your car will smell like you are a stoner.  Maybe you are, but if you are pulled over, it’s all over for you.  The police will smell it, and if you are lucky, the only thing that will happen is that they will search your vehicle.  This might not be a problem if you remembered to bring your drugs and paraphernalia out of the car, but if you forgot, oh well.  Now the police are going to find it.  What’s more, if you actually are stoned from just smoking marijuana, and you smell like you just got done smoking it, the police just might take you to the hospital for a blood draw.  If you turn up positive for either THC or its metabolites, or for any illegal drug or its metabolites, then you will be charged with a Class C misdemeanor.
  4. Don’t be making a nuisance of yourself.  If you attract a lot of unwanted attention to yourself, such as by blasting your car stereo at 3 a.m. in front of the neighbors, don’t be shocked if one of them calls the police.  No, the neighbors aren’t out to get you.  They probably are done with you and have put up with you thumping your stereo at crazy hours of the night, waking them up and keeping them from getting back to sleep.  Then when the neighbors call the police, and the police arrive on scene, instead of immediately having attitude against the police, who are showing up because you stepped on the rights of your neighbor, try to be cooperative.  The police are not the bad guys; you are.

The rest of this list will be the content for another blog, but you get the idea.  The bottom line is this:  in the overwhelming majority of times when people get pulled over, it is because that person was either posing a danger to the public by crazy driving, being a nuisance, or the like.  If you drive with consideration for the rights of others, and not just your own rights, chances are very strong that you will not be pulled over.  And if you did get pulled over, it is your own fault.  For more information, there is an outstanding website you should check out:

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