For a police officer to pull you over for drinking and driving in Maryland, they must have probable cause to do so. This means they must have either witnessed you violating a law or have reason to believe you are operating your vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Here are some things police are looking for when they pull you over on suspicion of DWI.
Speeding or Disobeying Other Traffic Laws
One of the most common indicators of drunk driving is speeding, failure to stop at a stop sign or traffic light, or disobeying other traffic laws. If you commit any traffic violation, a police officer has the right to pull your vehicle over and request that you submit to a breathalyzer test.
Appearing to Have Poor Control Over Your Vehicle
Police officers also look for drivers who appear to have poor control over their vehicles on the road. Swerving, sudden stopping, fishtailing, speeding up and slowing down, road rage, and other forms of reckless driving are strong indicators that the person behind the wheel may be intoxicated.
Physical Signs That You’re Intoxicated
Once the police officer pulls you over and approaches your vehicle, they will begin to look for physical signs that you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. For example, they will determine if they smell the odor of alcohol on your breath or if your eyes are bloodshot and your speech is slurred. If you exit the vehicle for field sobriety tests or if you are arrested, they will also assess your balance and ability to follow directions.
Evidence in Your Vehicle
While the officer is asking you questions, they’ll likely also be shining a flashlight into your vehicle to look for evidence of drinking and driving or using drugs. If they see empty containers of alcohol, marijuana, or drug paraphernalia from outside the vehicle, this gives them enough probable cause to search your vehicle for additional evidence. This is true even if you do not consent to the search and the police do not have a warrant.
When to Get Help from a Maryland DWI Lawyer
Were you arrested for driving while intoxicated? It’s important to work with an experienced Maryland DWI attorney from the start of your case if you want the best possible verdict. Criminal defense lawyer Richard Brueckner has the skills you need to fight the charges against you. Call now for a consultation at 410-430-1464.