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Can you just drive away from a DUI checkpoint?

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2022 | Drunk Driving

DUI checkpoints are controversial, but they are permitted in Maryland. At these checkpoints, rather than pulling over drivers when they already suspect them of being impaired, the police simply talk to every driver who comes through the checkpoint. They say that this helps them keep drunk drivers off the road, although critics say that it is a violation of those drivers’ rights to be stopped with no indication of impairment.

What you might be wondering is, if you see a DUI checkpoint at the intersection ahead of you, can you just turn and drive away? Maybe you’re not even intoxicated, but you just don’t want to deal with talking to the police. Are they going to arrest you if they see you driving off in a different direction?

Don’t make any illegal maneuvers

Technically speaking, yes, it is legal to turn and avoid a DUI checkpoint. For instance, maybe there are three cross streets before you arrive at the intersection. You can legally turn down any one of them and take a different road. For all the police know, you’re not avoiding the checkpoints at all, but you just live on that cross street, and you’re driving to your house.

However, if you do something like speeding away from it or pulling an illegal U-turn to turn around, then the police are going to arrest you. Not only is what you did illegal, giving them cause for the traffic stop, but it is going to make it look like you are already impaired.

What if you get arrested?

If you do end up getting arrested at the checkpoint or while you were trying to drive away from it, it’s very important for you to know about all of your legal options. A DUI can have a major impact on your future, so you must know what steps to take.