Drunken driving fatalities occur all the time, but it is always tragic when they do. Back in April, a young Maryland woman was killed in a drunken driving accident in Charles County. The accident reportedly occurred when the intoxicated driver crashed head-on into the victim’s car.
The accident, not surprisingly, made a deep impact on the victim’s family, and spurred her parents to become active in drunken driving education and prevention. One of the results of their efforts was to work with the local police department to schedule a DUI checkpoint in honor of their daughter, a nice gesture and token of support.
Criminal defense attorneys who handle drunken driving cases are sensitive to the seriousness of the drunken driving problem on our roadways, and the pain families suffer as a result of a fatal drunken driving accident. That being said, working in criminal defense provides a critical perspective on the way law enforcement utilizes public resources.
The effectiveness of sobriety checkpoints is not beyond questioning. Typically, a very small number of drivers who pass through a sobriety checkpoint end up being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, and the evidence does not conclusively demonstrate that these checkpoints really reduce the incidence of drunk driving. Still, they continue to be utilized as a way to target intoxicated drivers.
In our next post, we’ll speak a bit more about the issue of DUI checkpoints, eventually working our way around to discussing what a motorist can do when they suspect they may have been subjected to an illegal checkpoint.
Somdnews.com, “DUI checkpoint to honor Jenkins, firefighter killed in April crash,” Rebecca J, Barnabi, July 24, 2015.
Wusa9.com, “Volunteer firefighter killed in Charles Co car accident,” April 29, 2015.