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3 things you do to improve a traffic stop outcome

You have probably seen those red and blue lights flashing in your rearview and felt your heart drop into your stomach. Getting stopped by the police is not a calming experience, or at least, typically.

You may feel doubly nervous if you have taken part in a post-Cardinals win celebration. You feel up to driving, but what will a police officer think? Before you get behind the wheel, take a look at these three tips.

1. Remain calm

If you have ever watched a police show like "Live P.D.," you probably noticed how different reactions from drivers elicit counter-reactions from the officers. Some people remain quiet, polite and compliant while others immediately get anxious, angry and belligerent. Remaining as calm as possible is your first tip. The more fidgety, anxious or angry you act, the more the officer will believe you have something to hide.

2. Listen to the instructions

Police officers go through a series of questions when they first approach. They do this to evaluate your behavior and reaction and so they can take a look at what you have in the vehicle. They may also issue instructions for you to follow, and they pay close attention to how you respond. Therefore, it is best to always listen quietly for what to do next and respond appropriately.

3. Stay polite and respectful

Whether you believe the officer stopped you for a valid reason or not, the more respectfully you behave, the better the stop may turn out. You have probably seen some aggressive behavior towards police officers on television, and it usually does not turn out well for the driver. Even if you question the validity of the stop, keep your wits about you and speak respectfully. Ask the officer for clarification if you have a question.

Knowing that your behavior will dictate some of the officer's subsequent actions should help you to remain calm and focused.

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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