As a tourist in Nashville, you’ll probably use a vehicle to make your way around the city. You might even be pulled over at some point during your journey, which doesn’t necessarily need to be a stressful experience. Nashville.gov provides the following information to motorists in the city so they know what to expect when pulled over. Being aware of your rights and obligations will also allow you to identify any legal issues if they occur.
Police pull vehicles over when they assume a traffic violation is occurring. While there are numerous traffic violations that can take place, some are more common than others. These include speeding, driving erratically or aggressively, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Regardless of the reason why you’re being pulled over, law enforcement must make every effort to treat you respectfully and ensure your rights are being upheld during the traffic stop.
Once you realize you’re being pulled over, you should begin decelerating and look for a place to safely stop your vehicle. While the officer is making his way over, remain in your vehicle and have your license, registration, and insurance documents ready. It also helps to turn on interior lighting so the officer can see into your vehicle. Keep in mind that you’re permitted to ask law enforcement for verification of identity, which might be the case when pulled over by a plainclothes officer.
While you should answer questions to the best of your ability, you’re not obligated to consent to a search of your vehicle. You’re also free to file a complaint against an officer if you feel that your rights have been violated. If you’re arrested, you can also ask for an attorney consultation and refuse to answer further questions until your legal counsel is present.