Maryland DUI checkpoints are an exception to the rule that a police officer have a reasonable articulable suspicion that criminal activity has been, is being, or will be committed before they can stop a motorist.
Are Maryland DUI Checkpoints Constitutional?
Where certain criteria are met, Maryland’s interest in detecting and deterring drunk driving outweighs the minimal intrusions on your individual liberties. In Maryland, the courts have identified criteria to determine the constitutionality of Maryland DUI checkpoints.
Clear, Carefully Crafted Regulations that Restrict Discretion of Police
The DUI/DWI checkpoints are operated under limitations imposed by clear, carefully crafted regulations approved by high level administrators. These regulations must severely restrict the discretion of the officers in the field. For example, all vehicles are stopped and there is virtually no risk that motorists will be singled out arbitrarily.
The procedures to be followed when communicating with each driver are set forth in detail in the regulations. Thus, the risk of police harassment is greatly reduced. The amount of fright and annoyance caused to motorists who pass through the checkpoints in minimal.
Adequate advance warning of the checkpoint. Motorists who do not wish to stop may make a U-turn and follow a different route.
Refusal to Roll Down Window
A driver who stops at the checkpoint, but refuses to roll down the car window is allowed to proceed.
No Interrogations or Searches
The stops themselves last less than a half a minute. Officers do not interrogate motorists or search their vehicles.
Legitimate Exercise of Police Authority
Each checkpoint is well illuminated and staffed by a sufficient number of uniformed officers to show that it is a legitimate exercise of police authority.
Safety and Convenience of the Public
Ample provision is made for the safety and convenience of the public. Operation of the checkpoints is suspended if traffic becomes congested.
Schedule a Free Maryland DUI Checkpoints Consultation
The Law Office of Ross W. Albers is located in Westminster, Maryland. Carroll County DUI Attorney Ross W. Albers is former Baltimore City DUI prosecutor. If you have been arrested during Maryland DUI checkpoints, then contact the Law Office of Ross W. Albers for a free consultation. The Law Office of Ross W. Albers is a member of the National College for DUI Defense. Westminster DWI Lawyer Ross W. Albers is a 2016 Maryland Super Lawyers Rising Star in Criminal Defense: DUI.