As you may or may not already know, Anne Arundel County Police are conducting a DUI Enforcement Checkpoint on St. Patrick’s Day at around 7 pm on Bestgate Road where you get onto Route 50. Here is a picture of the general area:
First, and most important, do not drink and drive. Call a cab or get a designated driver. I haven’t tried this option but there is a designated driver service you can use here: http://www.bemydd.com/cities/annapolis
It goes without saying that you could kill someone, including yourself.
The police say, that “during previous checkpoints in Anne Arundel County, 407 arrests for DUI and 112 arrests for drug offenses have been made after making contact with the drivers of nearly 75,503 vehicles.” They don’t go into the period of time covered by that statistic or how many total checkpoints this data is from, but it should give you the sense of the effectiveness of these checkpoints.
Know Your Rights
What are your rights at checkpoints like this?
- Drivers can’t be arrested for turning around to avoid the checkpoint. Specifically, you should have a chance to turn around to avoid the checkpoint. A police officer can’t pull you over for turning around in a normal fashion.
- The public must be given notice of the checkpoint and where and when it will be. This was most likely done here.
- Drivers aren’t required to follow all instructions given by the officer. If stopped, you don’t even have to open your window. You can speak through the window to the officer. (Be careful though. If you haven’t been drinking it might be easier to just be respectful to the officer so you can move on quickly.)
- You are only required to answer questions related to your identity, such as your name and address, etc. You may be asked for your license and registration, you are not required to answer questions about why you are driving.
If you are not entirely sure what to do you can always exercise your right to remain silent and ask for an attorney.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It does not create the attorney-client relationship. Please contact Scott MacMullan Law, LLCat 443-494-9775 if you seek legal advice.