Nobody wants to see the shine of blue lights behind them when they are trying to get home, go to work or enjoy a night out. At any moment, though, you could find yourself pulled over and facing the judgment of a police officer. While it may feel natural to panic, you should resist this urge and instead respond to the situation with composure and reason. You are likely to get better results by doing so.

Consider the following three tips for handling interactions with law enforcement when you are pulled over. How you respond to the situation is likely to determine its outcome, at least in part, so it is important to maintain your composure throughout the duration of your interaction.  

Be honest and polite

When you are pulled over, there is no reason to immediately take a combative stance with a police officer. Though your temper may be running hot, it is important to be polite to the officer you are dealing with and be honest when questioned. It is standard for a law enforcement officer to ask where you are going or, if you are suspected of DUI, whether you have been drinking. 

Listen closely to information

In addition to being honest and polite with an officer, you should listen closely to any information provided or commands given. It is vital to avoid any misunderstandings that may contribute to tension or escalation, so be sure to listen to the officer you are dealing with and ensure that you respond appropriately.

Consider your options

Lastly, you should consider your options when you are pulled over by law enforcement. Those options depend on the reason you are pulled over, but if you are suspected of DUI, you can certainly refuse a field sobriety test. If you are pulled over and an officer requests to search your vehicle, you can refuse if she or he does not have a warrant or probable cause.