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Labor Day checkpoint in Maryland could lead to DUI charges

Numerous jurisdictions in Maryland set up sobriety checkpoints over Labor Day weekend. One of those jurisdictions made a total of nine DUI arrests, issued 28 citations and gave two people orders to make repairs. One of the nine arrests was for possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana.

This and the other law enforcement agencies around Maryland were part of a group of close to 10,000 agencies participating in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's "Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over" initiative over the holiday weekend. Thousands of vehicles passed through checkpoints around the country. Estimates are that 387 vehicles went through just this one checkpoint, and only these nine vehicles were targeted.

That fact begs the question as to what criteria police were using in order to make the decision to pull over these nine vehicles. It was not indicated what about these particular vehicles garnered the attention of the officers at the checkpoint. Now, nine people have been put through the trauma and degradation of not only being pulled over, but being arrested.

The first thing officials will have to prove is that they had good reason to single out these vehicles. Next it will be necessary to review any field sobriety tests to be sure they were properly administered. Any items seized as a result of searches of the people and their vehicles could be found to be inadmissible depending on whether the stop was deemed lawful. These and other things need to be reviewed in DUI cases as those accused people build their defense to the charges they could end up facing.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, Harford DUI checkpoint arrests four for DUI, drugs, Bryna Zumer, Sept. 5, 2013

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