Being pulled over at a DUI checkpoint in Maryland can be stressful. Often, checkpoints are seen as an invasion of privacy. However, motorists are required to stop at them so that police can locate drunk drivers. They are normally situated in areas where there is a higher instance of accidents related to alcohol. It’s important to know what to expect after being pulled over at a sobriety checkpoint.
What are the laws on drinking and driving in Maryland?
Maryland has laws pertaining to driving while impaired. In general, a DWI is considered to be a lesser offense than driving under the influence or DUI. If a person is showing any signs of impairment while driving, including swerving in and out of lanes erratically or failing a sobriety test, they can be charged with a DWI. This can occur even if the individual has passed a Breathalyzer test with their blood alcohol concentration or BAC coming in at under .08.
However, if the person’s BAC is .08 or higher, they can face a DUI charge instead of a DWI.
What happens at a sobriety checkpoint?
A sobriety checkpoint is used by law enforcement to located and catch drivers who are impaired. If police notice anyone appears drunk or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they can order them to take a field sobriety test or a Breathalyzer. They may also ask them various questions such as whether they have been drinking and how many drinks they consumed. Sobriety checkpoints are legal in Maryland and most other states.
Police officers are required to follow a certain process determined ahead of time when stopping drivers. For instance, they may stop every fourth vehicle. If you’re passing through the checkpoint, follow the flow of traffic and comply with any instructions officers give you.