Sobriety checkpoints (also known as DUI checkpoints) are legal in Maryland, and can be conducted as frequently as once a week. As a motorist, you may be wondering what your rights are at a sobriety checkpoint. The short version is that the only information you are required to provide is an answer to a question pertaining to your identity. You are not required to answer any other questions. Police may not search you or your vehicle unless they have probable cause to do so. The long version is that police are likely to do everything they can to discover evidence that you are driving under the influence, which is why it’s important to know your rights at a sobriety checkpoint in Maryland. Learn more below.
What to Do at a Sobriety Checkpoint in Maryland
Approaching the Checkpoint
You are not required to answer any questions other than those related to your identity. You have the right to request that your attorney be present before answering any other questions. Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you in court.
You are not required to roll down your window at a checkpoint. But know that if you don’t, the officer’s suspicion will be raised, and they may require you to pull over to the side of the road.
Know that officers monitor drivers as they approach the sobriety checkpoint. Though they are not allowed to arrest a driver for turning around to avoid a checkpoint, it is likely you will be stopped.
If you are pulled over to the side of the road
If the officer says he or she has probable cause that you are under the influence, they will ask you to pull over to the side of the road. You must do so. You may continue to refuse to answer any questions without a lawyer. You may refuse to consent to a search of your vehicle.
If you are asked to perform a field sobriety test.
You have the right to refuse to perform a field sobriety test. This includes a breathalyzer. Know that even if you do so, this does not prevent the officer from arresting you. If you do perform a field sobriety test, know that this gives the police more evidence to use against you in court.
If you are arrested.
If you are arrested, you may continue to refuse to answer questions without a lawyer. Know that the more information you give the police, the more they will have to build a case against you in court.
Bruce Robinson & Associates
Bruce Robinson & Associates is a criminal defense law firm based in Baltimore, MD. If you have been accused of criminal actions and need to seek aggressive counsel, Robinson & Associates is here to help. For more information and to schedule your free consultation, give Robinson & Associates a call at 443-524-7395 or visit us at www.marylandcriminallawyer.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.