A Maryland “sobriety checkpoint” is a fixed, temporary location on a road that allows police officers to stop vehicles and talk to the drivers. Officers are typically looking for evidence that the driver might be violating Maryland’s driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) laws, but evidence of other types of law-breaking might also result in a ticket or an arrest.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that sobriety checkpoints are constitutional, but each state handles its checkpoints a little differently. In Maryland, the following rules apply to sobriety checkpoints:
- Sobriety checkpoints are conducted in Maryland. The state’s courts have determined that checkpoints are legal under the Maryland state constitution as well as under the federal Constitution.
- Sobriety checkpoints may be held up to once per week in Maryland.
- Sobriety checkpoints in Maryland must have enough officers to conduct them properly.
Research has shown that sobriety checkpoints are most effective when drivers have advance notice of them. Notices in the newspaper, television, and radio campaigns and other ways of making the public aware of an upcoming checkpoint have all been used in Maryland. However, it is not a legal defense to say that a particular driver wasn’t aware of a sobriety checkpoint when he or she was arrested there.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Maryland, the experienced Maryland DUI defense attorneys at Alpert Schreyer can help you build a vigorous defense to protect your legal rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at (301) 321-7277.