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What to expect during a DUI traffic stop

On Behalf of | Oct 16, 2023 | CRIMINAL LAW - Drunk Driving

Maryland law enforcement officers look for several indicators when deciding whether to stop someone based on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. If they see a driver weaving in and out of lanes, speeding, driving much slower than the speed limit, or otherwise driving erratically, they will likely initiate a stop. How the individual reacts during the stop can significantly impact what will happen. All drivers should be aware of what to expect when stopped on suspicion of DUI. 

What to do during a DUI stop 

Drivers are more likely to be stopped for DUI during the hours from midnight to 4 a.m. The officer present will likely initially ask for the driver’s photo ID, proof of insurance and car registration. During this time, the police will observe the driver to look for signs of impairment. This may include slurred words, difficulty performing physical tasks, and smelling like alcohol. If the officer believes there is evidence of driving under the influence, they may take further action.  

The most important thing to remember is that just because one is stopped for driving under the influence, it doesn’t mean an arrest and conviction will follow. Anyone who is stopped by police should remain calm and remember that they do not have to answer questions. The officer may lawfully demand that the driver exit the car for testing. If the police ask someone to perform field sobriety tests, and they refuse, this may lead to an arrest.  

Legal help after a DUI accusation 

There is a stigma that comes with a DUI conviction, which can significantly impact one’s entire life. When someone is accused of driving under the influence in Maryland, it’s important they understand how best to defend themselves. By working with an experienced defense lawyer, the accused can prepare themselves for the process.