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What appeared to be a possible case of absent-mindedness on the part of a driver, and a routine traffic stop by a New York police officer, turned into something much more serious when the driver of the vehicle apparently escalated the situation.

A woman was pulled over for driving at night on a state highway without her headlights turned on. She ended up facing much more serious charges after the officer who stopped her tried to take her into custody for suspected intoxication and she allegedly fought against him.

It is not clear how the state trooper first became suspicious that the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but he soon charged the driver -- who hails from another state – of being intoxicated by both. In addition to the drunk driving violation, the woman faces other charges stemming from the alleged resistance she showed toward the officer during her arrest

At some point during the reported physical contest, one or more additional state troopers became involved in subduing the driver, which they eventually accomplished in part by using oleoresin capsicum, or “OC” spray.

What may have led only to a warning for her for the initial traffic stop has now ballooned into multiple charges, including DWI, resisting arrest, and even harassment of the police. Instead of receiving a warning or a citation, the driver was taken to jail.

One of the lessons that can be learned from this incident is if you are pulled over by a police officer for any reason, it is a good idea to stay calm and not get combative. You may also want to have a lawyer present during questioning to be sure your rights are being protected. 

Source: WBNG, "Woman stopped for traffic violation, fights troopers," Anna Norris, June 27, 2014

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