YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – People do have civil rights when stopped by police, but that doesn’t mean they can refuse to cooperate.
It’s easy to panic when someone sees flashing lights in the rear view mirror. But there are some things drivers have to do for police when they pull someone over.
The Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office agreed to help demonstrate what should happen during a traffic stop. The police have the right to see a person’s driver’s license, car registration and insurance papers.
They should let the officer know if they have to look for this information.
“Advise him if you have to look through the glove box, or through the console for something he is asking for,” Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Stephen McGeary said.
Panicked movements in a car can set an officer on edge.
If an officer asks someone to get out of their car, they have to do it.
“If a law enforcement officer gives you a lawful order, you have to follow that lawful order. Lawful is the key there,” Mahoning County Sherrif’s Major Jeff Allen said.
A driver does not have to give permission for a vehicle search, if asked. But police in Ohio can decide there is probable cause, or a valid legal reason, to search a car. That means they think they saw a weapon, or something else illegal.
And people are allowed to record their interaction with a police officer.
“If it is not interfering with our job, absolutely. We are recording too,” Allen said.
Keeping cool in a traffic stop means everyone leaves safely.
“We want to go home at night too, you know,” Allen said.