A commissioner of a Maryland county was arrested for driving under the influence and other charges in the evening hours of Jan. 30. The arrest was made based on field sobriety tests conducted at the time of the traffic stop. When the commissioner later took a Breathalyzer test, his blood alcohol content was reportedly above the state's legal limit of .08.
During the holidays, the number of DUI checkpoints around the country generally rises. However, there is some doubt in Maryland and elsewhere about the feasibility and effectiveness of these checkpoints. The DUI arrest numbers may not substantiate the cost.
Every so often Maryland law enforcement agencies conduct sobriety checkpoints in an attempt to keep drunk drivers off the roads. A recent check point identified three drivers that were pulled over and given field sobriety tests. As a result of those tests, they were arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
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.
When police suspect that a driver has been drinking, they will often request a field sobriety test. While field sobriety tests are usually not used as evidence in court, they are used to establish probable cause for the use of breath tests and blood alcohol tests.
A Maryland school administrator was recently sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to driving under the influence for the second time in less than a year. The arresting officer had administered field sobriety tests, but stopped them when the man lost his balance.
When people in Maryland are pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, they are often given field sobriety tests by officers. These tests are certainly not foolproof, and when they are not conducted accurately can give very misleading results.
Anyone can make a bad decision and wind up dealing with roadside tests and an arrest for driving under the influence. A Baltimore County Councilman was recently sentenced to two years of supervised probation and a one-year suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to drinking and driving. According to police, Huff's blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, was 0.20 percent, more than twice Maryland's legal limit of 0.08 percent, and he failed multiple field sobriety tests.
Early Wednesday morning, a Maryland man lost control of his car and drove off of Route 5 near Forest Park. When a police officer reported to the crash site, the driver told him a deer had run into the road. He swerved so he wouldn't hit it and ended up driving off the road. The officer, however, apparently wasn't convinced.