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Top 3 Reasons to get Pulled Over in Washington

Driving a car in the US comes with a great deal of responsibility. Whether you drive a large pickup truck or a tiny hatchback, you agree to abide by an abundance of rules when you apply for your driver’s license. Yet after you start driving you notice traffic infractions taking place on a daily basis, even several times during your commute. Many people lose good driving habits over time without serious consequences. Still, law enforcement are authorized to correct poor driving habits by pulling you over and issuing a citation. In fact, the Supreme Court held that law enforcement officers can pull you over even if you have not actually broken a law.

To avoid encounters with Washington State Patrol, it’s important to know exactly what is likely to get a driver into trouble with law enforcement. Here are the top 4 reasons you may be pulled over by a cop in the State of Washington:


Putting yourself and others at risk by driving too fast for conditions is one of the most common reasons drivers get pulled over. Washington State observes the “absolute speed law” which means that going just one mile per hour over the speed limit can trigger a citation for speeding. Speeding increases the severity of a car accident should one take place, and for this reason WSP are strict. Throughout the country, between 25 and 50 million speeding tickets are issued each year.

Aggressive or Reckless Driving

Swerving in and out of lanes, tailgating, and other signs of impatience are a beacon to law enforcement. Drivers who vary their speed dramatically, improperly change lanes and tailgate other drivers are bound to cause an accident. These maneuvers are thus closely monitored by police to uphold the safety of everyone on the road.

Reckless driving is also a sign that a driver may be impaired. DUI in Washington is a serious crime with serious consequences. Ironically, a more severe DUI charge can be reduced to a less severe “wet reckless” charge with a strong criminal defense attorney.

Equipment Violations

From a broken tail light to an expired registration tag or even a broken window, equipment violations are easy to spot and can trigger a traffic stop, even if the driver broke no driving laws. Police cited illegally tinted windows as one of the most common equipment violations they see, and this provides an incentive for them to pull the driver over. From there, if any other activity seems suspicious the cops may conduct a search. There are many stories of officers discovering illegal substances or weapons from a stop initiated by something as mundane as a broken tail light.

If you are facing DUI or drug charges in Washington, an experienced attorney like Daniel J. Murphy, Jr. can fight to have your charges dropped or reduced. Call Murphy’s Law Offices at (253) 312-6122 for a free consultation.

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506 S. 11th St.
Tacoma, WA 98402
Phone: (253) 312-6122

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