A stop by a law enforcement officer is usually a daunting experience, and a nervous driver is apt to become overly talkative.
Is it risky to start a conversation? Here are five things not to say to the officer who pulls you over.
1. Asking the reason for the stop
It is always best to let the officer ask if you know the reason for the stop. If you ask, you may give the appearance of aggressiveness and the conversation could start off on a negative footing.
2. Trying to use your name or influence
You might believe you are someone with power and influence. However, it does not matter who you are. You are not above the law and whatever credentials you have will not matter.
3. Saying anything rude
Always be polite when interacting with a law enforcement officer. Rude behavior might cause the officer to wonder if you have committed a crime or are covering up a crime.
4. Speaking after your arrest
Once arrested, you should cease speaking except to say you want to talk to an attorney. Until you do so, you have no obligation to provide further information.
5. Starting with the phrase “I only…”
If you say, “I only had one drink,” or “I was only going five miles an hour over the speed limit,” you are providing a confession of sorts. This will only make your situation worse.
Anything you say to a law enforcement officer can be used against you. Whether the officer stops you for a traffic infraction or because he or she suspects you of driving under the influence of alcohol, the less said the better. Remember that you have the right to speak with an attorney before providing any further information.