Question: Can being nervous impair a person’s driving ability?
Answer: The answer to that question is yes, particularly if they are aware that there is a police officer behind them. The cops play terrible tricks on people. Again, if it’s a slow night, they’ll pull up right behind you; some will actually ride on the butt of the defendant’s car in order to have the defendant speed up and thereby violate the speed limit laws, number one, and then as a result of that they get pulled over.
Or, if the cop is behind you and you’re constantly looking in the rearview mirror, this can have the result of you crossing or touching lane markings which the officer will then put down on his report that you couldn’t drive and stay within your lane markings and this has resulted in him pulling you over, when in reality it was just the fact that he was riding your butt. We’ve heard countless clients talk about that. If you attempt to change lanes and don’t use your blinker, he will pull you over for that. And these are all things that can happen when a police officer rides right up on your butt in the evening, which can be a scary scenario.
If you don’t know that it’s a cop and he’s riding on your butt, then you really have an inclination to step on the accelerator and speed up, which will result in you being pulled over. So, either way it’s a difficult scenario, whether you know it’s a police officer or you don’t know it. They oftentimes will play games to get the defendant driver to engage in some type of driving behavior, which is violative of a traffic law, and then boom they pull you over. And then if you have alcohol on your breath, it all goes downhill from there.