Can the Police stop me while I am driving? Is this an official stop and search?

A police officer can stop a vehicle you are driving and ask you to show your driving licence and proof of insurance or may require you to take a breathalyser test.  However, it only becomes an official stop and search if your vehicle is searched.

When is it not a ‘stop and search’?

You have not been officially ‘stopped’ if:

  • A police officer comes up to you and talks to you generally
  • If you are a witness to a crime and are being asked about it.

Are the Police allowed to stop me more than once in a day?

There is nothing in law to prevent you being stopped more than once in any day, as long as the legal requirements are fulfilled on each occasion.

Can I refuse to stop for the Police?

If you refuse to stop, officers can use reasonable force to stop you so they can conduct a search. Depending on your behaviour your refusal could lead to you being arrested for obstructing a Police Officer.

Do I have to stop and answer the Police Officer’s questions?

Generally you do not have to answer questions when an Officer is not using a specific law to authorise questioning you, but you may choose to give your name voluntarily in these circumstances.