The DUI roadblock has become more and more common in the past decade. Both the Maryland Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court have ruled that DUI detection roadblocks are legal as long as certain rules are followed to ensure that the rights of the citizens are protected. For a DUI roadblock to be legal, the police must follow a list of procedures set out in Little v. State (the Maryland case) and in Michigan v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444 (1990) (the Supreme Court case).
In order for a Maryland DUI checkpoint to be constitutional it must have “clear, carefully crafted regulations…[which] severely restrict the discretion of the officers in the field.” The Maryland Court of Appeals stated that the procedures that must be followed are intended to “minimize the possibility of fright and inconvenience to the public.”
If the state cannot prove that the proper procedure was followed in setting up and conducting the roadblock, the traffic stop and everything that flows from it should be suppressed in court. In other words, if the state can’t show that the roadblock was legal, then all of the evidence against the defendant cannot be considered, and a Not Guilty verdict is certain.
Having a Maryland DUI Lawyer that understands the law on DUI roadblocks and will fight to make the state prove that the roadblock was conducted in a constitutional way can help you avoid a conviction for DUI, which can result in jail, fines, probation, or loss of driver’s license. Contact the Maryland DUI Lawyers at the Law Office of Edward Tayter to schedule a free consultation today.
Ed Tayter and the rest of the attorneys with our firm have a trove of experience representing clients in cases that involve roadblocks, and their knowledge of this scenario could help as they attempt to put together a strategy for your defense. They will understand these roadblocks and how they might affect a case. Allow them to use that knowledge to your advantage.
If you are wondering what to do about DUI charges in DC, please visit Jason Kalafat’s website here.