Typically, police need a reason to stop a suspected drunk driver. However, they can use DUI checkpoints in Maryland, which allow them to stop every car passing through a certain point on the road. They recently ran a checkpoint that stopped 700 cars.
This checkpoint was in Frederick, on Patrick Street. Police ran it during a Friday evening. They say that the goal is to encourage safe driving, and they called it a “Sobriety Checkpoint.” It started right around 10:00 o’clock in the evening and continued on until 2:00 o’clock the next morning.
In addition to checking to see if drivers were intoxicated, police also looked for other safety violations. They gave each person they stopped a pamphlet telling them about impaired driving.
Authorities confirmed that checkpoints like these, which could be used elsewhere in Maryland, are part of a campaign they call “Toward Zero Deaths.” They got the funding for the checkpoint from the Maryland Department of Transportation. They worked with people from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and officials connected to the Maryland State Chemical Test and Alcohol Unit.
What was the result of running a checkpoint for four hours and stopping 700 cars? Police say that they arrested one driver for being under the influence.
The key thing to take from this is that police can and will use checkpoints, which allow them to stop far more vehicles than they typically could on a patrol, when they actually need to look for signs of drunk driving. If you get stopped and arrested at one of these checkpoints, make sure you know what legal defense options you have.