Police departments across Maryland stepped up their drunk driving enforcement efforts over the holiday season during the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. In Montgomery County, the agencies taking part included the Rockville City, Montgomery County, Gaithersburg and Takoma Park Police Departments, the Maryland National Capital Park Police and the Maryland State Police. The drunk driving crackdown began on Nov. 18 and continued through Jan. 9.
In addition to increasing the number of police vehicles on patrol, law enforcement agencies in Montgomery County set up sobriety checkpoints in areas where drunk driving is common. They also visited businesses that sell alcohol to consider compliance checks and issued tickets to party hosts who allowed people under the age of 21 to drink. During the operation, police took 41 drivers into custody for operating their vehicles while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Six of the motorists arrested were taken into custody after being in an accident. This group included a 26-year-old man arrested on Dec. 30 after a hit-and-run collision near the intersection of Osage Street and Carroll Avenue in Silver Spring. According to a Holiday Alcohol Task Force report, the man, his female companion and a child attempted to flee the scene of the accident on foot. He then allegedly gave officers a false name. When they searched the man, police say that they found an unregistered and loaded handgun in his pocket. He faces charges of leaving the scene of an accident, driving under the influence, transporting a minor while impaired, possessing a loaded firearm and driving without a valid driver’s license.
Prosecutors usually introduce the results of breath tests to prove intoxication in DUI cases. While the equipment police departments use to conduct breath tests is extremely sophisticated and accurate, it is not infallible. If you are charged with driving while under the influence, an experienced criminal defense attorney may check the maintenance records of the device used to test your breath carefully. If the police department involved did not maintain the equipment properly, an attorney could seek to have your breath test results excluded and the drunk driving charge against you dismissed.