Is It Legal for Maine Police to Have Their Lights Off at Night?
Police Cars at Night
No doubt we've all seen it more than once. Whether you're on the Maine Turnpike, 295, Route 1 -- hell, maybe even in New Hampshire. We've all driven along roads at night (or early morning) and eventually caught the shine of a dark police car off to the side of the road with its lights off.
And once our heart beats again since it stops as we instinctively look down at our speedometer and hope we aren't driving too far over the speed limit (even if we know we aren't and even if we go as far to set our cruise control to a reasonable speed), we look back up and wait to see if we're about to be flashed with blue lights or not.
But is it legal for police to even camp out on the side of the road with their lights off during dark hours?
When Police Pull You Over at Night
Simply put, there's absolutely nothing wrong with or any law-breaking happening if a police officer pulls you over at night after not having their lights on while on the side of the road. While some may consider it police entrapment, according to Cook Attorneys,
Cops do not have to have their lights on at night. They can legally hide with their lights off. And they can pull you over for violating the law, whether they advertised their presence or not. It is not considered entrapment in a court of law.
So, What is Police Entrapment Then?
Entrapment is a defense to criminal charges, and it's based on interaction between police officers and the defendant prior to (or during) the alleged crime. A typical entrapment scenario arises when law enforcement officers use coercion and other overbearing tactics to induce someone to commit a crime.
So, long story short, even though you could consider it unsafe that during pitch black hours along terribly lit roads, it's possibly dangerous for a dark police car to post up in the breakdown lane with its lights off, there's nothing illegal about it.
But hopefully, if you do drive by an officer off to the side of the road with their lights off at night and you're speeding or something, you'll be lucky enough to get the courtesy quick flash of the blues to slow down instead of getting pulled over.