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Reminder: Law Enforcement Are Essential Employees

On behalf of J. Kippa Law, LLC | April 23, 2020

What a time to be alive.

Unless you have been around long enough to remember the polio epidemic or lived in Asia during the SARS outbreak of 2002-2003, you haven’t experienced anything like this.

One of the strangest scenes playing out on social media feeds and television screens are images and video of places like the Vegas strip, Times Square and interstate highways free of traffic. Essential employees who used to spend an hour driving to work are now experiencing smooth sailing during what used to be rush hour.

Before you decide this is the perfect time to hop in the car, crank up the tunes, and put the pedal to the medal, you must understand one thing: law enforcement officers are essential employees. State troopers are out on patrol and they have far fewer cars to keep an eye on.

How To Avoid Being Pulled Over

The best thing you can do to avoid having an uncomfortable conversation with a trooper or police officer is to follow the posted speed limit, stay within the lines and make sure you follow all posted traffic signs.

What To Do If You Are Pulled Over

You may find yourself being pulled over despite your best intentions. If that happens, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Stay calm: Take a deep breath and take things one step at a time.
  • Keep your hands visible: Keeping your hands on the steering wheel is best; it makes officers nervous when they cannot see where your hands are. If asked for your registration or insurance information, it’s a good idea to say “Okay. I’m going to reach into my glove box now to get my card.”
  • Be pleasant and respectful: You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
  • Zip your lips: You are under no obligation to tell the officer whether you’ve had a drink, how many drinks you’ve had, or whether or not you’re on your way home from having a socially distant driveway beer with your buddies.
  • Get legal help as soon as possible: If you are arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, you need an attorney working to protect your interests. The next words out of your mouth should be “I’d like to speak to an attorney.”

We hope you will never need these tips but it is better to be safe than sorry.

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