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St. Patrick's Day leads to arrest for 15 unlucky Maryland drivers

Here in Annapolis, we all know that Anne Arundel police do not take drunk driving lightly. Officers are trained to spot even the smallest signs that a driver may be intoxicated, and they will not hesitate to pull a driver over if he or she exhibits those signs. On holidays that are known to involve drinking, police are especially vigilant.

Of the holidays that involve drinking, St. Patrick's Day may be the most prominent. Who doesn't like to dress up in green and have a few beers to celebrate? Getting behind the wheel, however, can lead to serious consequences.

Ten drivers were arrested for drunk driving over the weekend by Anne Arundel County police, and five were arrested by Annapolis officers. County and state police teamed up over St. Patrick's Day weekend to catch and arrest alleged drunk drivers. Police focused their efforts on Anne Arundel County roads known to have high rates of drunk driving.

For many people, a DUI stop is their first run-in with the law. Even if you think you are sober, interacting with unforgiving police officers can be a nerve-wracking experience. However, don't forget that you still have rights.

When stopped by police for drunk driving, officers may ask you to submit to a field sobriety test or a breath test. Know that you do not have to submit to either if you are not sure you will pass. In addition, you do not have to admit that you have been drinking, even if an officer asks.

But if you end up facing charges, it is important to remember that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Making sure that you understand your rights and the different ways you can handle a charge is the best way to protect yourself when charged with DUI.

Source: Capital Gazette, "10 arrested in drunken driving initiative over St. Patrick's Day weekend," March 20, 2013

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