Law enforcement in Rockville and across Maryland are constantly watching for drivers who might be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, there are times of the year when drunk driving is more prevalent. The holiday season is one such time. Although the landscape is different than it normally is because of the current health situation and fewer people are taking to the roads, DUI is still a concern. Recently, law enforcement started its annual task force to catch drivers who are committing DUI during the holidays. Those facing charges should know their rights when confronted with these allegations.
Twenty-six people arrested for DUI over a weekend in November
Beginning on Nov. 18, the task force began its work. During that weekend, 26 people were arrested for DUI. Several law enforcement agencies in the state have joined forces to look for drunk drivers. It is scheduled to continue through Jan. 9, 2021. Among the strategies being used are checking businesses that sell alcohol to make sure they are adhering to the law; giving citations to those who are hosting parties in which underage people are drinking; and putting sobriety checkpoints in place.
Penalties for a DUI conviction can be severe and a recent change enhanced the consequences. After a law enforcement officer died in a crash with a drunk driver who had previous convictions, the state now requires a convicted drunk driver to have an ignition interlock device placed on their vehicle. This is just one of the penalties that a person may face after a drunk driving conviction. Others include losing driving privileges, jail and fines. That does not mention the aftermath where there may be raised insurance rates and problems getting certain jobs because of a DUI. Regarding underage parties, the adults can be fined $5,000 and jailed.
Understanding the steps the task force is taking and crafting a defense
In addition to sobriety checkpoints in high-traffic areas where DUIs and accidents are common, law enforcement is also taking other steps like having underage people try to buy alcohol and looking for underage drinking incidents at parties. While these strategies are implemented to make the roads safer, those who are charged with DUI still have rights.
If law enforcement fails to follow protocol or there are problems with the evidence, this could be used to craft a defense. The driver might not even have been above the limit to warrant a drunk driving charge. Drivers who are stopped and arrested should be especially aware when law enforcement is targeting potential drunk drivers. After a drunk driving charge, having legal assistance is critical and an experienced professional can help with representation.