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D.C. Police Target DUI, Drinking Violations in Adams Morgan

by | Aug 19, 2011

Residents in the Adams Morgan area beware of increased enforcement. D.C. drunk driving charges, drug violations and underage drinking charges will be targeted in a police crackdown, according to the Examiner.

Those busted should consult with a D.C. defense lawyer as early in the case as possible. Such enforcement efforts often lead to marginal or unfair arrests, car stops that lack probable cause and other overreaching by authorities. D.C. police report that the Third District, which includes Adams Morgan, has the highest crime volume in the city — and the third-highest call rate. Property crime is up 20 percent and violent crime is up 11 percent.

Authorities hope to address quality-of-life issues by targeting underage drinking, drunk driving and narcotic’s offenses. “Over the next few weekends, MPD will deploy more officers and resources into the Adams Morgan area than seen in many years,” Capt. Aubrey Mongal said.

The problem with such enforcement blitzes is that they rarely lead to the arrest of the individuals responsible for the majority of offenses. Instead, innocent motorists, residents, bystanders and college students suffer the consequences of marginal arrests. Authorities must have probable cause to stop your vehicle, to search your person or to otherwise target you with enforcement efforts. Too often such enforcement blitzes lead to a violation of your rights as officers initiate wholesale car stops and other enforcement actions.

In other cases, the training of officers involved can be called into question. This can be particularly true during arrests for DUI in D.C. When an officer lacks the proper knowledge and training to conduct sobriety tests, for example, a reduction or dismissal of the charges is often possible. Police typically like to make big splashes with enforcement announcements — and the media dutifully reports the efforts to taxpayers. Typically, there are no cameras in the courtroom months later when many of the charges are reduced or dismissed.

Still, too many will not contact a defense attorney. Too many will plead guilty or no contest to misdemeanor charges in an effort to put the incident behind them. We think that’s a mistake. Alcohol violations have a way of folllowing you for years — and can even breed new alcohol violations. Nothing leads to a car stop quicker than a driver with a DUI conviction on his or her driving record.

As we reported recently on our D.C. DWI Lawyer Blog, returning college students may be particularly susceptible to enforcement actions. Underage consumption and fake I.D. charges in D.C. can carry penalties beyond those faced in court — disciplinary action at the university level, loss of scholarships and problems associated with finding work or launching your career are also commonplace.

Authorities may be particularly vigilant this year when it comes to fake I.D.s. WREN Radio recently reported that Senator Charles Schumer is highlighting the issue of high-quality fake IDs arriving from China. The IDs are being described as near perfect, and include watermarks, holograms and magnetic strips. More than 1,700 were recently confiscated at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. The IDs were from a number of states, including Ohio and Florida. They retail on the street from $100 to $300.


If you are facing underage drinking charges, DUI, or Fake ID charges in Washington D.C. or the surrounding area, contact Scrofano Law, PC for a free consultation by calling (202) 765-3175 or by filling out an online contact form. Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards are accepted.