Barbara A. Bowden

Tacoma, WA DUI Attorney

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5 Most Common Ways to Get Pulled Over

5 Most Common Ways to Get Pulled OverHow do you avoid being pulled over?

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, around 17.7 million people that are over the age of 15 indicated that their last encounter with the police was being pulled over while driving, which amounts to about 8 percent of the driving population in the United States.  It may seem like random luck of the draw who ends up getting pulled over by the police, but the truth is that police cannot watch every single driver on the road at all times, so they look for signs to see who is causing the most potential danger to other motorists or who is the most visible traffic offender.  Making sure you are avoiding the five most common ways officers look for who to pull over can help ensure that you are much less likely to be stopped by law enforcement.

1. Speeding

According to the Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS), a survey from the BJS (Bureau of Justice Statistics), stopped drivers reported speeding as the most common reason for being pulled over in 2008.  If you want to avoid getting pulled over, the most important thing you can do is watch your speedometer when driving.  There are a lot of devices such as radar detectors that help you become aware of any speed tracking devices, but law enforcement is becoming more adept at countering these devices, and using different ways of determining speed.  Even if an officer isn’t able to register your speed on their radar, speeding is a very effective way to get pulled over, especially since other citations usually follow, as speeding can endanger other drivers and their passengers.

2. Equipment Violations

What do dark window tints, aftermarket neon lights, and broken tail lights all have in common?  All of them can result in a traffic stop in the state of Washington.  Equipment offenses are very easy to spot, which makes officers more likely to pull someone over for one, as there isn’t much that can be done to argue them after being pulled over.  If you have a broken windshield, an officer doesn’t have to prove that your windshield is broken, as it is very apparent during the stop that it is.  Expired license plate tags can also be a concern, as this violation also comes with a hefty fine and can result in more headaches for you if you are pulled over.

3. Not Wearing a Seatbelt

In the state of Washington, if you are over the age of 8 or taller than 4’9”, you are required to wear a seatbelt while inside a moving vehicle.  Washington is one of 34 states that have primary seat belt laws, where you do not have to be pulled over for another offense to be cited for a seatbelt violation.  In other words, an easy way to avoid being pulled over is to make sure you are wearing a seatbelt at all times inside a motor vehicle,

Distracted Driving

It is easy to feel rushed in today’s fast paced world; sometimes, we feel so rushed that we decide to save time by doing things while driving, such as eating, texting, or even dressing while driving.  However, law enforcement is cracking down on distracted driving, as more and more drivers cause accidents by not placing full attention on the road in front of them.  While changing the radio or eating a burger might not get as much attention as using a cellphone while driving, combined with unusual behavior might warrant getting pulled over by a police officer.

5. Hazardous Driving

Maintaining control of your vehicle while on the road is very important in any state in the United States, including Washington.  Therefore, many actions that might signal erratic behavior behind the wheel could result in flashing lights behind you.  What you might not consider hazardous could be very hazardous to law enforcement that pulls you over.

In general, following good practice of maintaining the speed limit, signaling lane changes, avoiding tailgating, can ensure that you don’t stick out when driving on any road.  In addition, making sure you avoid swerving, burnouts, or any other erratic driving that can cause officers to assume the worst, should be avoided.

The Tacoma DUI attorneys at The Law Offices of Barabra A. Bowden hope that this blog helps you practice safe driving and avoid being pulled over by law enforcement.

If you find yourself being pulled over by law enforcement even when following these tips, you need to make sure you call an attorney who specializes in drinking and driving offenses ASAP so that you can make sure you take the steps necessary to avoid heftier fines and penalties.