Before you can be charged with DUI (or any other traffic violation), you have to be pulled over by the police. This may seem obvious, but if you can keep from being pulled over, you can probably avoid a lot of legal trouble. Except at a DUI/Driver’s License checkpoint, a law enforcement officer must have probable cause to stop your vehicle; you can’t be stopped on a whim or a hunch, or for no reason at all. When a driver is pulled over in California, typically it’s because a law enforcement officer has observed a violation of the California Vehicle Code. Here are some of the more frequent vehicle code violations that get drivers in trouble in California:

1. Make sure all of your lights work: headlights, taillights, and your third brakelight. You’re very likely to be pulled over if any of your lights fail.

2. Don’t install after-market window tint film. No after-market tinting is allowed on the windshield, front driver’s window, or passenger’s side windows. Rear windows may be tinted if the vehicle has outside rearview mirrors on both sides.

3. Don’t toss out cigarette butts or even ashes. Sure, people do it all the time. But you’re working to avoid getting pulled over, and tossing a butt is a vehicle code violation that gives the police an excuse to pull you over.

4. Don’t let anything dangle from your rearview or obstruct your windshield. If you use a GPS device, it must be mounted in a 7-inch square in the lower right corner of the windshield or in a 5-inch square in the lower left of the windshield and beyond of the airbag deployment area.

5. Avoid a front or rear license plate violation. Your vehicle must display a front and a rear license plate at all times. Even if your new car has no spot for a plate in the front, if you are issued two plates, you must display them.

If you’ve been injured when a vehicle crashed into you, and the other driver was under the influence, you have a legal right to compensation. Keep receipts and copies of all your expenses from the accident: medical bills, insurance deductibles, car rentals and repairs. Upon a drunk driver’s conviction, a judge usually orders the defendant to pay for current damages, medical bills, and other expenses you’ve incurred, including lost wages.

An experienced personal injury attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit and help you win punitive damages, damages for pain and suffering, and damages for projected future expenses. If you are a victim as the result of a drunk driver’s negligence, let a good personal injury lawyer assess your situation and provide the legal advice you need. Don’t delay – speak to an experienced personal injury attorney right away.