Ask A Cop: Don’t exit vehicle unless told to by police

Published 10:06 am Tuesday, March 31, 2020

James from Nederland asks: Officer Antoine, I was stopped while driving by a police officer recently. I was always taught to get out of my vehicle to show the officer I’m not a threat. But this particular officer wasn’t too happy with me getting out of my truck to meet him. He quickly told me to get back in my vehicle. What should all drivers do when stopped by a police officer?

Answer: Your line of thinking when dealing with any law enforcement officer during a traffic stop is what’s called “OLD SCHOOL” procedure. James, TODAY that thought process of quickly exiting your vehicle when stopped by a police officer to meet him to assure you’re not a threat will NOT be kindly received by law enforcement officers.

Today, quickly exiting your vehicle will heighten tension on the part of the police officer conducting the traffic stop, which in return will cause your stress level to rise. Today we URGE and PLEAD that ALL occupants of a stopped motor vehicle remain inside the vehicle with hands visible until instructed otherwise by the police officer. So, James, the best practice is to “Stay IN until the END” of the traffic stop. Even on a motorcycle, don’t dismount until instructed to do so. The officer will instruct you on everything that you need and give you the reason(s) for the stop!

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Joshua from Port Arthur asks: My license is set to expire on my birthday, April 2, and all of the local Department of Public Safety Offices are currently closed, so how am I supposed to renew my license? I renewed my license last period online, so now I have to go in to renew, and all the doors are locked. What am I supposed to do?

Answer: Changes are coming as this virus, COVID-19, continues to run rampant throughout our nation. Joshua, first I’d like to wish you an early happy birthday. You are correct, sir, if you renewed online during the last time you renewed your license, you MUST go inside a Department of Public Safety office to renew this time! But due to the pandemic we’re experiencing, the governor has issued an order that extends ALL state issued drivers license that expired on or after March 13, 2020, to automatically continue to be valid for 60 more days.

This means that if your Texas Driver’s License/Commercial Driver’s License/Identification Card/Election Identification card expires on or after March 13, 2020, it remains valid for 60 days, after which time DPS issues public notice that the extension period for this disaster declaration has been lifted.

Joshua, take note that this extension applies to the expiration date only. A person who is not eligible to drive due to an active enforcement action (suspension, revocation or denial) may use the card for identity purposes only.

Donnie from Orange asks: I had a pretty bad slump a couple of years ago and received three moving violation tickets in one year.

Believe me when I tell you I’ve paid for it in more ways than one. Today, I’m a different driver. The cities of Orange and Port Arthur aren’t getting any more money from me. I didn’t realize how costly getting caught breaking the law was. I’m not angry at the police officers, just myself for getting caught. How long do points stay on my driving record for moving violations?

Answer: That was a difficult driving year for you, especially if you were convicted on all the moving violations. Points are assessed by the state of Texas for traffic convictions. Once the conviction has been added to your record, points are assigned and remain on the driver’s record for three years from the date of conviction.

Donnie, don’t think you’re off the hook if you get a ticket out of the state of Texas, because two points are assessed for a Texas or out-of-state traffic conviction. Contact the local municipal court where you were convicted, and they can inform you of your conviction date and count forward three years from that date. That’s when points are scheduled to come off your driving record.

Join Officer Antoine for Ask A Cop Live on KSAP 96.9 FM, “The Breeze” every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tune in and listen as Officer Antoine discusses the newly released Ask A Cop article. You can also tune in at Call in a question at 409-982-0247. Email your questions to, call 409-983-8673 and leave a message or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can Ask A Cop!