DUI Checkpoints Aren’t Just to Catch Drunk Drivers

DUI checkpointDUI Checkpoints Are To Protect Drivers

DUI checkpoints are a fairly common occurrence in every state across the nation. The premise is simple, officers block off a major roadway which then funnels drivers through one lane allowing the officers to canvas for anyone who might be under the influence of alcohol.  A team of officers then quickly assess the state of a driver, often by asking a few questions. Should a driver answer in any way that might suggest alcohol is affecting their ability to drive, you’ll be asked to participate in either a breathalyzer or a field sobriety test. This is a way for officers to check a large number of drivers in a short amount of time, hopefully without causing an inordinate amount of congestion in traffic.

Deterrence is the Name of the Game

While checkpoints are a good way to canvas multiple drivers, they aren’t necessarily the most effective means of catching drunk drivers. Law enforcement agencies will admit that a saturation patrol is significantly more effective than a sobriety checkpoint as many drunk drivers will simply evade the checkpoint. The problem is that most police departments simply do not have the resources to run effective saturation patrols due to budgets and funding. However, that wasn’t the point of a Bethesda checkpoint this past May. Stacy Flynn, a sergeant with Montgomery County’s alcohol enforcement unit said that sobriety checkpoints have been proven to work as a deterrent. Flynn hoped that drivers were tweeting, texting, and otherwise warning friends who might not have left the bar yet.

While this might seem like a counter intuitive strategy for catching a drunk driver, it does help to serve as a very poignant reminder not to drink and drive. Even for drivers who haven’t been drinking, having to pass through a DUI checkpoint can be a very sobering experience…which is exactly the point the Montgomery police department was trying to prove.

Getting Help

Sobriety checkpoints are established with the best of intentions to discourage drunk driving. However, there can be a number of scenarios that can occur when a driver is charged with drunk driving but isn’t actually over the legal limit. These erroneous charges can come with very serious consequences some of which can affect you for the rest of your life. If you’ve been charged with a DUI in the state of Maryland then it’s important that you get the help of an experienced DUI attorney immediately. Contact the legal offices of Alpert Schreyer to speak with an attorney and receive a free consultation regarding your DUI charges.

About Andrew Alpert

+Andrew is one of the leading DUI and criminal defense attorneys in both the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. He blogs about Maryland DUI law, has numerous videos on the subject and has been asked to appear on national television to offer his legal opinion on high-profile criminal cases.