You Are Stopped By a Traffic or Police Officer:

Consider the Scenario

You may be stopped by a police or traffic officer:

1. At night when it is dark and you are flagged to stop in a dark street or alley which you know to be dangerous or;

2. And you can tell that the officer requests a bribe or;

3. And when you’re stopped and tested, you are found to be over the alcohol limit.

 

Questions:

 

1.

a. What are your rights/responsibilities?

 

i. Stay calm and slow right down. Turn on your hazard lights and gesture clearly out of your window for the police vehicle to follow you;

ii. Travel slowly to your nearest police station or public place;

iii. It is advisable to dial 10111 while in the vehicle and notify the operator that you are being followed to the nearest police station or public place;

iv. You could also confirm the registration of the police vehicle with the operator to be certain it is a valid police vehicle;

v. Do not travel to a friend or relative’s house as this may cause danger to them.

 

2.

a. What are your rights/responsibilities?

 

i. You have the right to refuse the bribe;

ii. Request the officers badge number, should this be refused, note the location and registration number of the vehicle and report the office to the nearest police station;

iii. DO NOT accept a bribe as this will mean, legally you and the officer are both guilty of a crime;

iv. Contact an attorney as the soonest available opportunity should you be accused of offering or accepting an offer for a bribe;

 

3.

a. What are your rights/responsibilities?

 

i. Should you be pulled over for the suspicion of drunk driving you may be requested to do a breathalyser test. In such a test, you have the right to see the officer replace the mouthpiece with a sterile mouthpiece. Alternatively, you may be detained and tested at the nearest police station;

ii. The breathalyser must test over 0.24 milligrams per 1000 millilitres for you to be over the limit;

iii. A follow-up blood test may then be carried out at the police station;

iv. Remember you have the right to be treated fairly and with respect throughout the process as long as you are compliant;

v. Contact an attorney as the soonest available opportunity should you be accused of drunk driving and especially if you test over the limit or are requested to avail yourself to detention to be taken to a police station.

 

In all of the above situations, remain calm and compliant. Should you feel threatened or unsure, request the officers to assist as you do not know the processes.

If you are ill-treated, make mental notes of the officers, their badge numbers and registration numbers and report them to the nearest police station.

Final Word

Should you find yourself in any trouble with the police, it is advisable to request to speak to an attorney sooner rather than later. Once the request has been granted, immediately contact your attorney and explain the situation. Du Toit’s Attorneys prescribes to the highest levels of professionalism and individual attention to detail. Please feel free to contact us for any advice you may require.