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DUI Checkpoints in Salisbury

Police officers in Salisbury, Maryland routinely conduct traffic enforcement on the highways in and out of Salisbury. On the weekends, law enforcement officers typically have extra patrols out. They are patrolling the areas of the local restaurants and bars. They are routinely patrolling the areas near and around neighborhoods where Salisbury University students reside off campus. DUI laws are heavily enforced within the city of Salisbury and the area immediately around the city. Speak with a Salisbury DUI lawyer for more information about how officials enforce DUIs in Maryland.

Common Checkpoint Locations in Salisbury

There are checkpoints held throughout the year, usually on Route 50 between Salisbury and Ocean City in Worcester County. Though  not as frequent, there are also DUI checkpoints that are held within the city limits of Salisbury. College Avenue is an example of one of those streets. There have been DUI checkpoints on College Avenue in the past.

What Officers Are Looking For

Officers aren’t just looking for obvious signs of drunk driving. They are also looking for any sort of traffic violation that would allow them to pull a vehicle over. This would include an equipment violation on a vehicle. This means that the officer may not have observed a moving violation. But because the vehicle doesn’t have a functioning third brake light or because the vehicle has a tail light out, that would provide a legal basis for the officer to pull the driver over. Once someone has been pulled over a Salisbury police officer will want to investigate and see if the driver has been consuming alcohol.

Non-moving violations also include improper illumination of the tag. There are many minute violations that might not seem like much to a driver, but can lead to being pulled over by the police and then investigated for drunk driving. Discuss more of these minor infractions with a Salisbury DUI lawyer.

What to Expect During Salisbury DUI Checkpoint

The driver can expect that the officer is going to approach the car and is going to ask the driver for their driver’s license and vehicle registration. The driver should anticipate that the investigation of a potential drunk driving case has begun at that exact moment. The officer is immediately looking for clues that would confirm any suspicion that the driver has been consuming alcohol.

Tests Police May Conduct to Test Impairment

The officer is going to be listening to the driver to see if the driver’s speech is slurred in any way. The Salisbury officer is going to be observing the driver and is going to be looking to see if the driver’s eyes appear to be glassy or if they’re red or bloodshot. They’re going to be smelling inside the car. They are sniffing to see if there is any odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the car. If the officer can articulate a reasonable belief that the person may have been consuming alcohol, then the police officer can order the driver to get out of the car and ask the driver to perform some standardized field sobriety tests.

Field sobriety tests are conducted for the sole purpose of testing the driver’s coordination. These tests are referred to as divided attention tests because it requires the driver to listen to the instructions given by the police officer and perform the test as instructed by the police officer. Salisbury police officers conduct these tests to investigate driver’s balance, the ability of the driver to walk to perform what’s called the one-leg stand. All of these tests are geared towards observing the driver’s coordination because in order to convict a driver of a Salisbury DUI or a DWI, the State has to provide evidence that the driver’s coordination has been impacted.

In addition to standard field sobriety tests, additional tests can also include asking a driver to recite the alphabet from a letter somewhere in the beginning to a letter somewhere towards the end of the alphabet. The officer might also ask the driver to count backwards from one number specifically to another number. Again, these tests are simply about observing if the driver can take in the information they are being given and then perform what has been asked of them. The results of those tests can all be used against the driver at a later trial for a DUI or a DWI. Protect yourself against potentially incriminating performances in these tests and contact a DUI lawyer in Salisbury as soon as possible to start building your defense.