Maryland DWI Sobriety Checkpoint/Anne Arundel County DUI Lawyer
Find Out How Police In Maryland Can Use Sobriety Checkpoints
A common tactic used by police agencies across Maryland to detect and arrest persons driving under the influence of alcohol is the use of sobriety checkpoints. Sobriety checkpoints are commonly conducted on or around holidays such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, St. Patrick’s Day or are utilized during the weekends, when most DWI arrests are made.
The use of sobriety checkpoints have been sanctioned by courts across the country, and Maryland is no different. While the courts have approved the use of these checkpoints, they have also placed restrictions on them and have regulated when, where and how these checkpoints can be set up. Below are some of the ways in which the sobriety checkpoints are limited:
- The location of the checkpoint cannot be chosen by the officers manning the checkpoint. Instead, it the location must be chosen by a high ranking police official.
- There must be advance public notice of the checkpoint (typically published in a newspaper of general circulation).
- There must be signs on the roadway warning the approaching driver of the checkpoint ahead.
- The driver must be given an opportunity to turn around to avoid the checkpoint.
- The police must not pull over a vehicle just because the driver turned the other direction. If, however, the police observe conduct that would justify a lawful traffic stop regardless of the checkpoint, the police can stop the vehicle.
- The police must be uniformed using official police vehicles, so as to announce the police presence to the public in general.
These are just some of the many rules and regulations that govern the use of sobriety checkpoints in Maryland. Because of these extensive rules and regulations, the prosecution must put on additional evidence and call extra witnesses at trial in order to justify the lawful stopping of a defendants vehicle. If you have been stopped and charged with a DWI or DUI as a result of a sobriety checkpoint it is imparitive that you speak with an experienced DWI defense attorney.
The attorneys at Jimeno & Gray, P.A., have handled sorbiety checkpoint cases as both the prosecution and defense attorneys, which gives them an advantage in handling these types of cases. By failing to challenge a sobriety checkpoint in court, you might wind up with an unnecessary convivtion on your record. Experienced and aggressive defense attorneys know how to mount a challenge to these arrests.
The former prosecutors at Jimeno & Gray have written a book, “The ABCs of DWIs In Maryland” to provide those charged with a DWI or DUI in Maryland the immediate information they need. You can obtain a free copy of this book by clicking here and filing out our secure order form.