Part One: Be Prepared.

Being prepared is the best defense. Staying calm, understanding your rights, and asserting them politely is the best strategy. Part 1 of the 3 part series focuses on what to do while you are in the car. Learn how to prepare for and react during a DUI stop and investigation.

1. Insurance & Registration
Always have your Insurance and Registration within arms' reach; By the way, don't forget to make sure you have good tabs.

2. License
Put Your driver's license somewhere easy to reach BEFORE you start driving.

3. Lights
Check your all your lights (signals, parking, front, rear, license plate)

4. Seat Belt
Buckle UP (wear your seat belt)

5. Turn Signals
Don't forget to signal, EVEN IN A TURN LANE.

6. Lane Travel
Most people will not notice that their vehicle is swerving, but one thing you can do while travelling down the street is don't force yourself into a last minute turn. If you think you're gonna miss the turn, miss it, and catch the next one. This way you will not be forced to coordinate turning, signaling, and slowing all in too short a time. Also, if you realize you are being followed by law enforcement, avoid looking into your review mirror. The lights from behind may cause you to veer out of your lane.

7. Stopping
When the officer activates the emergency lights, pull over immediately, and carefully come to a stop to the right of the road you are on. Avoiding taking the Officer off the road, or into a quiet side street. This will increase the officer's anxiety level which will get directed toward you.

8. Window Conversations
When the officer contacts you at the window, be POLITE, but keep conversation to a smiling "YES" or "NO" answer. It's hard to slur the word "NO," but that's what the officer is looking for so they can justify asking you to exit the vehicle if they smell alcohol. See Step #1 & #2 (have your license, insurance, and registration ready to hand over without fumbling prior to the officer reaching the window).

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