What You Need to Know About a DUI Checkpoint
May 22, 2023
In Maryland, police officers often set up temporary roadblocks on different roadways across the state to stop vehicles and check whether the driver is intoxicated or impaired. Generally, the police at the DUI checkpoint may decide to stop motorists randomly or all drivers passing through the roadblock. If you're stopped at a DUI checkpoint in Maryland, it is important that you understand your rights to ensure that you do not implicate yourself or end up in the worst possible situation.
At Mohammadi & Humayun, LLC, our attorneys have devoted their careers to handling criminal cases and protecting individuals charged with drunk driving from suffering severe penalties. Our highly-skilled Maryland criminal defense attorneys are available to discuss your unique circumstances and enlighten you about your rights and responsibilities at a DUI checkpoint. We're proud to serve clients across Rockville, Fredrick County, Howard County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County, Maryland.
DUI Checkpoints in Maryland
DUI checkpoints are roadblocks set up by law enforcement officers to check motorists for drunk driving, intoxication, or impaired driving. These DUI checkpoints are often common during nights, weekends, and holidays, such as the 4th of July and New Year's Eve, when there is often an increase in drunk driving. In Maryland, DUI checkpoints are legal. However, there are strict requirements for conducting checkpoints.
Legal Requirements for DUI Checkpoints in Maryland
Here are some legal requirements for conducting a DUI checkpoint in the state of Maryland:
The purpose of the DUI checkpoint must be to protect public safety.
The DUI checkpoint must be non-arbitrary, systematic, and non-discriminatory.
The police must notify the public in advance that a DUI checkpoint will be set up in a particular area.
Drivers who do not want to stop at the DUI checkpoint must be allowed to turn around.
There must be roadway signs that warn motorists in advance that they are approaching a DUI checkpoint.
A high-ranking police official must approve the DUI checkpoint.
An experienced attorney can enlighten you about what to do at a DUI checkpoint to make sure you do not incriminate yourself.
Your Rights at a DUI Checkpoint
Many Americans are uninformed about their rights at DUI checkpoints. Even when you're stopped at a DUI checkpoint, you still have certain rights. Here are some of your rights:
You Have the Right to Not Incriminate Yourself
When stopped at a DUI checkpoint, you have the right not to incriminate yourself. Follow the standard pull-over procedures. Remain respectful, polite, and courteous. Provide the officers with the necessary documentation, including your driver's license, vehicle registration, and insurance information.
You Have the Right to Refuse to Speak With the Officer
In addition, you have the right to refuse to speak with the officer until you have consulted with your lawyer. Do not participate in questioning without the consent of your lawyer.
You Have the Right to Make a Legal U-Turn
Also, if you do not want to stop at the DUI checkpoint, you have the right to turn around before getting to the roadblock. Provided that the U-turn is legally executed and you follow other rules of the road, the police may not stop you.
You Have the Right to Refuse Consenting to a Search
You have the right to refuse to give your consent to the police to search your motor vehicle or property.
You Have The Right to Refuse a DUI Test
Additionally, you are within your rights to refuse to take field sobriety tests. You may be able to refuse the preliminary or portable breath test unless you have been arrested for drunk driving and taken to the station.
If a driver is arrested for driving impaired or intoxicated and the arresting officer violates any of the person's rights or fails to follow the requirements for conducting a checkpoint, any evidence obtained or presented in court might be inadmissible.
What to Do if You Are Arrested for DUI
If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Maryland, here's what you need to do:
Do not talk to the police about your DUI arrest without your lawyer.
Remain polite and courteous.
Request a DMV hearing.
Document everything that happened after the arrest and while in custody.
Hire an experienced attorney to handle your DUI case.
Ask about the reason for your arrest or the charges against you.
Communicate openly and honestly with your attorney.
Keep a low profile and stay out of trouble.
A practiced Maryland DWI & DUI defense attorney can investigate every aspect of your case and outline a solid legal strategy to help fight your drunk driving charges.
Work With a Skilled DUI Attorney
Just because police officers can conduct DUI checkpoints doesn't mean they can impede on your constitutional rights. If you’re under investigation for drunk driving or you were arrested at a DUI checkpoint but believe your rights were violated, you need to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately for proper guidance and to help build your case.
At Mohammadi & Humayun, LLC, we have the knowledge and resources to defend and represent individuals who have been wrongfully arrested at DUI checkpoints. As your legal counsel, we can evaluate your case details, investigate the officer's conduct, and gather substantial evidence to dispute the accusations against you. Above all, our legal team will fight aggressively to defend your rights and help keep your driving record clean.
Contact us at Mohammadi & Humayun, LLC, today to schedule a simple case evaluation with strategic DUI defense lawyers. Our skilled attorneys can provide the reliable representation and legal guidance you need in your drunk driving case. We're proud to serve clients across Rockville, Fredrick County, Howard County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County, Maryland.