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What are your rights during a traffic stop?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2021 | DWI Defense, Other Criminal Offenses

If you see flashing lights in your rear mirror, there is a good chance that you’ll need to pull to the side of the road. During a traffic stop, you are obligated to provide the North Carolina officer who pulls you over with a valid license, proof of insurance and proof of registration upon request. However, you are otherwise allowed to remain silent through the rest of the traffic stop.

You aren’t required to submit to chemical tests

You’ll likely face penalties for failure to submit to a chemical test during a traffic stop. Those penalties may include a license suspension, fine or jail time. However, you cannot be forced to submit a blood or urine sample unless an officer has been given a warrant to obtain one. The same is generally true in the event that you’re asked to take a Breathalyzer test. In some cases, refusing to abide by implied consent laws may help you avoid a DWI conviction.

Say as little as possible

The officer who pulls you over will evaluate a variety of factors when determining if you are too impaired to drive. Those factors will often include your appearance, ability to stand and demeanor. In most cases, saying anything to the law enforcement official who initiated the traffic stop simply provides more evidence to justify taking you into custody. Furthermore, anything that you say by the side of the road might hurt your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome at an eventual trial.