Law enforcement agencies are seeking to send a message to teens celebrating proms, graduations and the warm weather.
D.C. DUI attorneys know that a number of police agencies throughout the country have been issuing warnings of their intentions to establish multiple DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols – with a particular goal of nabbing teen drinkers and drunk drivers.
In D.C., as well as in Virginia and Maryland, officers are involved in an ongoing program called “Checkpoint Strikeforce.” This is essentially an operation that touts zero-tolerance and combines checkpoints with saturation patrols during times when it is believed drivers might most likely be impaired.
The summer months are key for these types of operations because the warmer weather has more people outdoors.
Given that 16 to 20-year-olds are more than twice as likely to die in an alcohol-related crash than other drivers, it’s understandable that police want to stop that.
However, you are allowed to drink and get behind the wheel in this state, as long as your blood alcohol level is under 0.08 – UNLESS you are under the age of 21. In that case, you are not allowed to have any amount of alcohol in your system if you are behind the wheel.
For your first offense, you will be looking at a fine of several hundred dollars
Either way, a DUI is a mark on your permanent record. It’s something your future employers are going to be able to see. That’s why it’s so critical to contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. The sooner you do, the better your chances of a favorable outcome.
And for parents who might aid their teens in obtaining alcohol for those summer celebrations, they risk a $300 fine and a 90-day license suspension. Such charges could result if police stop teens in a checkpoint, determine they’ve been drinking and then find out who supplied the alcohol.
The Checkpoint Strikeforce program started in 2002 as a short, six-month plan that encompassed Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and D.C. They’ve made so many arrests using this method – thereby deeming it a success – that they’re looking to expand it to other states.
Already, the initiative is responsible for stopping half a million drivers every single year. Most of the time, people – and especially teens and younger drivers – have no idea what their rights are in these situations.
The first thing is that it is in your best interest to treat the officers with respect. Loud-mouthing them or being rude is going to get you no where.
That said, you do not have to tell them anything beyond the very basics: Your name, address, etc. Anything else – even where you’re coming from or where you’re going – can be used against you. And under no circumstances should you admit that you’ve had anything to drink.
Have your driver’s license and proof of insurance ready.
And if you are arrested, call an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
If you are facing DUI charges in D.C., contact the Scrofano Law, PC for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights or fill out our online contact form. Visa, Mastercard and Discover cards accepted. Call 202-946-5783.