Can You Get A Traffic Ticket For Driving During Coronavirus?
If you get pulled over during coronavirus, you may wonder what your rights are. That's in large part because law enforcement is being more aggressive trying to keep everyone safe. Here's what you should know.
If You're Under Quarantine, Law Enforcement Doesn't Need a Reason to Pull You Over
If your area is under an official quarantine order, law enforcement doesn't need any reason to pull you over. Their reason for stopping you is driving during a quarantine. If you're an essential worker or you are driving for another essential reason, you will be allowed to continue on your way. However, you may need to prove that you're allowed to be driving.
Driving During a Quarantine May Be a Criminal Violation
Driving during a quarantine when you're not supposed to is generally not a simple traffic ticket. In most areas, it's a criminal charge that can come with jail time or thousands of dollars in fines. For this reason, you shouldn't treat it the same way you would treat a speeding ticket.
While some people may admit to things like speeding and hope the officer gives them a break for being honest, don't admit to breaking quarantine. Exercise your right to remain silent just like you would if you were questioned about any other crime.
Don't Speed on Empty Roads
With less traffic out on the roads, you may be tempted to speed. Officers are still out on the roads, making sure the people that are allowed to drive are safe. Even if the speed limits are set lower because traffic is usually higher, you still need to obey the posted speed limit. If you do get pulled over, the officers will likely be on edge because their health is at risk, so they'll be less likely to cut you a break.
Don't Joke About Coronavirus
Don't tell the officers you have coronavirus when you don't. They will likely hold you longer so they can conduct the traffic stop in a safe manner. For example, they might go back to their car and wait for someone with protective gear to arrive. Further, if you say "Corona," they may think you're talking about the beer and make you do the DUI tests. If they do find out you were lying, expect them to write every ticket possible.
To learn more about what to do if you're pulled over during coronavirus, talk to a local traffic court lawyer today.