Know your rights: What to do if you’re pulled over by the police


Know your rights: What to do if you’re pulled over by the police



Even if you haven’t broken the law, being pulled over at a roadblock can still be intimidating. Handle these situations with confidence by knowing your rights.


  • Any police officer has the right to request your driver’s license and ID. At the same time, you have the right to request ID or their appointment card from them.
  • You can only be arrested for outstanding fines if a warrant of arrest has been issued, which you can request a copy of.
  • If you don’t have a valid driver’s license on you, if you owe a recently issued fine, or if your license has expired, you can be fined, but not arrested or taken to a police station.
  • If the car you are driving is unroadworthy, you can legally be stopped from driving any further as you are a danger to yourself and others.
  • You have the right to film or take photos at any time and no police officer can tell you to stop or delete your images.
  • While you have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test, this is not recommended as you can then be legally arrested and taken for a blood test.
  • It’s in your own interest to be polite and courteous as officershave discretion on how they handle cases. If you’re rude or abusive to the extent that you use racial slurs or hate speech, you can be arrested.
  • If you’rearrested for any reason, you need to be taken directly to a police station. You can’t be held for an extended period of time on the side of the road.
  • If arrested, you can then apply for bail at the police station, otherwise you must be brought to court within 48 hours of being arrested.
  • Do not be tempted to bribe the police as a way out - this is a more serious crime than what you probably would have been fined for.

The best solution to dealing with roadblocks is to ensure you act within the law at all times, and if you haven’t committed an offence in the first place, it’s much easier to navigate these situations.

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