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Can you legally avoid a DUI checkpoint in Maryland?

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2023 | Drunk Driving

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Maryland, and law enforcement authorities use various means to catch those who violate this law. One such method is the DUI checkpoint, where police officers stop vehicles to check for signs of impaired driving. 

While many drivers dread encountering a DUI checkpoint, some may wonder if it is possible to avoid it altogether. 

What is a DUI checkpoint?

Understanding what a DUI checkpoint is and how it works is important. A DUI checkpoint is a designated area on a road where police officers stop vehicles to check for signs of impaired driving. At a checkpoint, officers may ask drivers to provide their license and registration, and they may also administer a breathalyzer test to check for alcohol consumption. Checkpoints are typically set up in high-risk areas or when drunk driving is more likely to occur, such as on holidays or weekends.

Can you avoid a DUI checkpoint in Maryland?

The short answer is yes, you can, but there are some important considerations to remember. It is legal to avoid a DUI checkpoint, as no laws require drivers to pass through one. However, attempting to evade a checkpoint by making an illegal U-turn or turning onto a side street to avoid it may result in a traffic violation or even arrest.

In Maryland, law enforcement officers are authorized to stop drivers for reasonable suspicion of impaired driving, even without a checkpoint. This means that if an officer observes a driver exhibiting signs of intoxication or erratic driving, they can stop the vehicle and conduct a field sobriety test or administer a breathalyzer, regardless of whether the driver passed through a checkpoint or not. Additionally, if an officer witnesses a driver attempting to evade a checkpoint, they may have reasonable suspicion to pull the driver over and conduct a sobriety test.

Learning your legal rights and options is best if you are arrested for DUI. This will help you build a solid defense for your case.