For many people in Maryland who are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, police may or may not have a valid reason to suspect wrongdoing. Clearly, driving erratically makes it easier for law enforcement officials to have probable cause to perform a traffic stop. When an officer is almost hit by a suspected drunk driver, however, that makes the determination all the easier.
And when three officers are nearly all hit at the same time while they are walking in a marked crosswalk -- and the near-miss is observed by a sheriff's deputy -- then a driver is almost certain to be stopped and questioned. This is what happened to an Annapolis woman recently when she was stopped while driving her pickup truck in Ocean City.
According to the charges, late on a recent Saturday night, three officers were crossing the street in a crosswalk when the woman's pickup headed toward the intersection. The deputy who witnessed the incident said it did not seem as though the driver saw the officers in the crosswalk and did not appear to be slowing down.
The officers had to stop walking in order to avoid the vehicle, which allegedly did not slow down as it sped through the intersection and the crosswalk. At that point, the deputy decided to perform a traffic stop. His report said that the woman appeared to have been drinking and performed insufficiently well on field sobriety tests; she was arrested.
Although the deputy's observations led him to believe the woman was driving under the influence, this has yet to be proved. Anyone who is suspected of DUI is entitled to defend himself or herself in court.
Source: The Dispatch, "Three OCPD Officers Nearly Hit By Driver," July 19, 2013