There are multiple situations that could result in someone’s arrest for impaired driving. If you get behind the wheel after having too much to drink, police officers might stop you, arrest you and then charge you with a crime.
Police officers identify drunk drivers through several different approaches. Drivers in Virginia and Maryland can find themselves caught up in the criminal justice system after they experience one of the three police encounters below.
Getting into a car crash
Everyone involved in a car crash will be at risk of arrest afterward if there is evidence that they broke the law. You don’t have to cause the accident to be subject to a police officer’s scrutiny after a collision.
Many police officers will automatically require testing of those involved in a crash to determine if impairment played a role. Even if you are not at fault, if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the legal limit, then a police officer can arrest you at the same time that they issue a ticket to the driver who caused the accident.
Being pulled over
Plenty of drunk driving arrests occur on the open road when no property damage or injuries have happened. If a police officer sees someone swerving or otherwise breaking traffic laws, they might pull that person over to screen them for signs of impairment.
Officers can also start to suspect someone of drunk driving during a traffic stop that they initiated for another purpose. Anyone who fails a breath test or field sobriety test could get arrested, even if the police officer didn’t think they were drunk when they turned on their lights.
Encountering a sobriety checkpoint
Although there have historically been legal controversies about DUI checkpoints, also known as sobriety roadblocks, they are still common law enforcement tools. Police officers in Virginia and Maryland may use them to screen a large number of drivers for chemical intoxication.
Anyone facing drunk driving charges could lose their license, face hefty fines and even wind up in jail. Defending against drunk driving charges is possible with the right assistance and a careful evaluation of the prosecutor’s evidence.