Preparation for an Unwanted Encounter With the Police by New Hampshire DWI Lawyer Mark Stevens 603-893-0074

Hello everyone.

If you are stopped by police for any reason there are certain things you can prepare for. One of the first things to occur during an unwanted encounter with the police will be the police officer's demand for your license and registration. The officer asks for both of these documents at the same time to try to confuse you.

This tricky technique is described in DWI Detection and Field Sobriety manuals like this:"PRE-EXIT INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES" "A basic purpose of the face-to-face observation and interview of the driver is to identify and gather evidence of alcohol and/or drug influence. This is the purpose of each task in each phase of DWI detection" HS 178 R1/02, DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Student Manual.

What this means is that every question and requested task is being used to gather evidence against you.Further along in the same page of the manual the "license and registration" demand is described like this: "Questioning Techniques. The questions you ask and the way in which you ask them can constitute simple divided attention tests. Three techniques are particularly pertinent:1. Asking for two things simultaneously2. Asking interrupting and distracting questions3. Asking unusual questionsAn example of the first technique, asking for two things simultaneously, is requesting the drivers license and vehicle registration. Possible evidence of impairment may come to light as the driver responds to this dual request." HS R1/02, DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Student Manual. The manual then goes on to suggest a number of stock observations the officer could make about difficulties you have retrieving these two documents under pressure.

PREPARATION FOR THIS WORST CASE SCENARIOIt is not a bad idea to prepare for this event. Have your license and registration in an easy place to find and an easy place to quickly and effortlessly produce upon demand. Don't put your license in a difficult spot to pull it out quickly when you need to. Practice taking your license out of your wallet in the safety of your home. CONSIDER GETTING A REGISTRATION HOLDER TO KEEP YOUR VEHICLE REGISTRATION IN. If you do not have one send me an email with your mailing address and I will send you a registration holder for every one of your vehicles free of charge. Then practice producing your license and registration fairly frequently. It will make it easier to do if you ever have to produce them under a pressurized roadside situation.

Have a safe weekend,

Mark Stevens




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  1. Someone really decided to put on their thinking cap, great going! It’s fantastic to see people really writing about the important things.

    Dui Prevention

  2. Dear Kennedy,
    Thank you for your kind words. Also, I express my kudos to you for publishing the locations of the Massachusetts road block on your blog to warn the motoring public about an upcoming intrusion upon their Fourth Amendment rights.
    Mark Stevens