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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Pulling Over Safely During a DUI Stop in Philadelphia

If you are pulled over by police in Philadelphia, the following is what you should know regarding how to stop and pull your vehicle off to the side of the road. To learn more about your DUI stop call and schedule a consultation with a DUI lawyer in Philadelphia today.

What Should I Do If Police Try To Pull Me Over?

The most important thing is under any circumstance when an officer pulls behind an individual, and puts their lights and sirens on, the individual must abide by all motor vehicle codes. So the first thing an individual needs to do and the motor vehicle code indicates is to find the nearest available safe location to pull their vehicle over.

So that would be immediately to the right curb side so that the officer feels that the individual isn’t trying to flee and the officer feels that the individual is abiding by the lights and sirens. If the person is in a location where it’s very difficult to pull over or impossible to do so under the circumstances, the officer will follow the person and the person should drive slowly. The officer will follow and then at the first available safe spot the person has to safely pull over.

At no time should an individual accelerate or try to get away from the officer. The individual should follow all necessary safety rules to make sure their vehicle is pulled over safely and they abide by all motor vehicle rules. The reality is that if a person is later going to challenge the legality of the stop made by police, this is one of the most important factors to look at: did the person act reasonably upon the officer attempting to pull them over?

If the person did, that can be a significant benefit. Obviously your judgment is not impaired if you feel that you pulled right over, you cooperated fully with the police in a safe manner, and you did not place yourself, your passengers (if any), or the police officer in any jeopardy or in harm’s way.

Pulling Over Safely at Night During a Philadelphia DUI Stop

Under those circumstances where a person is being pulled over in the evening and the person feels there’s limited lighting and doesn’t want to pull over, a person may feel that it’s okay to go a further distance before they pull over.

However, most police cruisers have spotlights that more than illuminate the roadway and/or side of the roadway. So under most circumstances, when an individual is being followed by a police officer in a marked car, with lights and sirens on, there’s more than one spotlight on the individual. The individual should have no problem pulling over immediately to the side of the road.

I would only recommend a person continue driving to a safe location when something other than darkness prevents the individual from pulling over. For instance, being on a bridge where there’s only two lanes and there’s really no lane of traffic to pull over in.

Under that circumstance, it would be reasonable for an officer to believe that a non-intoxicated person would then continue to the end of the bridge and immediately pull over without speeding, without causing any possible danger to themselves, their occupants or the officer pursuing.

In fact, under those circumstances, a person might even be viewed as not intoxicated and capable of safely operating a motor vehicle because it’s clear that the person understand the dangers and is applying what the person knows in a very logical way in pulling their vehicle over.

So in a lot of ways, that can help a person defend themselves and prevent an officer in some cases from even asking for a person to give blood or a breathalyzer.