At times, it seems that police go overboard in terms of hunting for drunk drivers. For this reason, they often make a mistake in regards to who they pull over and charge with this serious crime.
A DUI checkpoint is one situation in which police don't need reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle. Instead, they check every driver who goes through the stop in an attempt to find those who are drunk.
If an officer has reason to believe that a person is committing a crime, they can pull his or her vehicle over and move forward with an investigation.
Here are some reasons why an officer may believe they have reasonable cause to pull over a motorist:
-- Making an illegal turn.
-- Driving above or well below the speed limit.
-- Straddling the center line.
-- Erratic driving, such as an inability to stay in the travel lane.
-- Frequent braking.
-- Stopping for no reason.
As you can see, this is not a complete list. If an officer has any reason to believe a person is impaired, he or she may pull the vehicle over to learn more.
Unfortunately, since this is left up to the best discretion of the officer, there are times when people are pulled over for suspicion of DUI when they did absolutely nothing wrong. Taking this one step further, the individuals may then be charged with a crime when they aren't actually drunk.
If you find yourself in this position in Maryland, it's easy to be frustrated. Despite your feelings about what happened, you need to learn more about your legal rights and how to implement a sound defense strategy in court.
Source: FindLaw, "What is Reasonable Suspicion for a DUI Stop?," accessed Oct. 13, 2016