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Howard County, Maryland, DUI checkpoint nets 9 arrests

Many police departments set up DUI checkpoints around the holiday season, when parties - and alcohol usage - tend to be more common. Police officers in Howard County, Maryland, recently set up a checkpoint on Route 40 and arrested nine offenders. Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Maryland State Police also participated in the checkpoint.

The checkpoint was set up in Ellicott City - about 30 minutes outside Silver Spring - during the late night/early morning hours of Dec. 21. Of the 950 vehicles that went through the checkpoint, nine of the drivers face DUI charges for drinking and driving. One driver was also charged with a drug offense, and another was cited for driving without a license.

Operating under the influence can lead to long-term consequences. A person accused of drinking and driving can have his or her license taken away and face hefty fines. A conviction can also result in jail time and community service. If a person is charged with multiple offenses, the punishment becomes harsher. If a person seriously injures or kills another while under the influence, he or she can be charged with a felony. This is a very serious offense with substantial penalties.

Those accused of DUI have legal rights. There are some defenses that a person can use in order to reduce his or her charges and or avoid punishment altogether. For example, if a breath test or field sobriety test was not conducted properly, the police officer may not be able to charge the person with DUI. In addition, there are times when a devices can register a false reading. These defenses should be explored with a legal professional.

Source: Washington CBS Local, "9 Arrested at DUI Checkpoint in Howard County" No author given, Dec. 21, 2013

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