It's something, as drivers, we've all dealt with at one time or another, and usually, it's our own fault.

Of course, we're talking about the dreaded traffic stop.

Maybe you had a tail light out, maybe your Maine State inspection sticker was expired, or maybe you were driving just a little too quickly trying not to be late for work. Either way ya dice it, most of us have been pulled over at one point or another.

Now, I'm sure most of us have seen the videos from YouTube or TikTok where, for whatever reason, people don't want to completely cooperate with law enforcement. These videos usually involve an agitated driver shouting 'I know my rights!' through their tightly rolled up window.

But, here's the real question: In Maine, do you have to roll your window down during a lawful traffic stop?

jonathan cooper, Unsplash
jonathan cooper, Unsplash

Well first, we have to determine, based on Maine Statute, what constitutes a lawful traffic stop?

According to section 29-A of Maine Statutes at Maine.Gov a Maine law enforcement officer has the authority to stop any motor vehicle that they believe has or is currently violating a law. The statute explains that the officer may stop the vehicle to arrest an occupant or to issue a criminal or civil summons.

Additionally, the statute states in part;

A law enforcement officer who has stopped a motor vehicle pursuant to subsection 1 may demand and inspect the driver's license, certificate of registration, permits and the identification numbers of the motor vehicle. A state police officer who is trained pursuant to the motor carrier safety rules of the motor carrier safety regulations of the United States Department of Transportation may demand and inspect the driver's record of duty status and medical examiner's certificate, if applicable.

So what does this tell us, exactly? Well, it's kind of a loaded answer.

TECHNICALLY, according to Maine statute, you don't HAVE to roll your window down for police at all. However, and also according to Maine statute, you DO have to comply with providing proper documentation (license, registration, insurance) during said traffic stop.

So, unless you can teleport those documents through solid glass, it's very likely you'll need to at least crack your window.

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Or, you could just put the window down, be friendly, and maybe the officer will cut you a break- but that's just my opinion!

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