25% of adults admit that they increase their alcohol intake during the holiday season, which is right around the corner. During the holidays, the number of alcohol-related fatal car accidents also increases to 33%. As one way to counteract that, many police departments in the state of Maryland set up sobriety checkpoints to ensure that nobody is drinking and driving. What should you expect when driving through a DUI checkpoint?
Know Where They Are
Maryland law requires law enforcement agencies to announce every DUI checkpoint in advance, so you will typically see notices posted in a newspaper or online. A DUI checkpoint is a temporary roadblock, and all cars driving on the specific roadway will have to pass through the checkpoint. You do have the ability to avoid a checkpoint by taking an alternate route or turning down a side street. Unless you behave erratically or break the law in doing so, police do not have the right to force you through the checkpoint.
Answer Some Questions
At a DUI checkpoint, law enforcement officers stop vehicles in a pre-planned manner, such as every third or fifth car. You might not be asked to stop at all. During the screening, officers typically ask the driver for their license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. They observe the driver’s behavior and look for signs of impairment, such as the smell of alcohol, slurred speech, or bloodshot eyes.
Complete a Field Sobriety Test
If an officer suspects a driver might be under the influence, they may ask the driver to complete standardized field sobriety tests. These tests include tasks like standing on one leg, walking in a straight line, or following a finger with your eyes. While these tests are designed to assess impairment, various factors, such as medical conditions and environmental conditions, can affect the results.
A Breathalyzer Test
In Maryland, after performing field sobriety tests, an officer may decide to administer a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) using a handheld breathalyzer. If you take the test and it indicates that your BAC is too high, they will place you under arrest. You will then be asked to complete a chemical blood test to measure your precise level of intoxication. In the event that you are arrested for DUI, you should immediately contact your attorney at Mobley and Brown, LLP.
Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help With Your Accident Case
If you have been arrested at a DUI checkpoint in Maryland, you need the right legal assistance. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.