Halloween is coming up and Anchorage police officers and Alaska State Troopers will be on alert for impaired drivers. This is my first tip in a series of tips for a DUI-free holiday.
Tip #1: Avoid Pretextual Stops
A “pretext” is a false or weak reason or motive used to hide the actual reason or motive. In the context of a police officer stopping someone for a DUI investigation, this might mean pulling someone over for a broken tail light when the real reason for pulling the person over is to see if they are driving under the influence.
Pretextual DUI stops are common in Alaska. Why? Because many DUIs are difficult to detect, and law enforcement knows it. Law enforcement officers are trained to look for any lawful reason to stop a vehicle. This could be a burnt out taillight or a cracked window. The officer doesn’t really care about the taillight. She just wants an opportunity to stop your vehicle to look for other signs of possible driver impairment.
To protect yourself from pretextual stops, take note of the following suggestions:
- Regularly test your vehicles headlights, turn lamps, and brake lamps to make sure they are functioning properly. Keep your vehicle well-maintained. Check your tire pressure regularly. Make sure all of your lights are working properly.
- Avoid aftermarket window tint.
- Make sure your license plate is lit and cleared of snow that may be obscuring the license plate.
- Don’t draw any attention to yourself, such as by playing excessively loud music.
If you are faced with the unfortunate situation of having been charged with a DUI/DWI or OUI, you should contact a criminal defense attorney. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) convictions can affect employment applications and result in substance abuse treatment. Please contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden at 907-771-9002 for honest, relentless criminal defense. It is best to talk to a criminal defense lawyer so that you know what your options are. You can also visit our Blog or Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.