DWI: Didn’t Witness It, Still Arrested!
I can be charged with a DUI even if the cop doesn’t see me driving?
Case: Bryant v. State, 142 Md. App. 604 (2002).
In this case the court addresses the issue of whether someone can go to jail for driving under the influence when the arresting officer neither observed the individual driving nor occupying a vehicle. The Court found that even though the police officer did not personally witness the defendant driving an automobile drunk, he received abundant information from eyewitnesses who did observe the defendant driving and acting drunk. This information was enough to lead the police officer to a reasonable articulable suspicion that the Defendant had violated the drunk driving statute. This reasonable suspicion allowed the Police Officer to test and charge the defendant with a DUI. Since the police officer was given an overwhelming amount of information about Defendant drinking and driving his search and seizure of Defendant was reasonable and lawful. The Court held that the admissible evidence at trial created enough direct and circumstantial evidence that any fact-finder could be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt of the Defendant’s guilt for violating the drunk driving statute.
People often make the bad decision to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. While they believe that they are fine and able to drive, too often this is not the case. Many think that there is only a small chance they come across a police office willing to pull them over, but as you see above you any person witnessing you driving under the influence of alcohol could lead to your arrest and prosecution. Endangering yourself and others is never the smart decision to make. Maryland and other states have recently been focusing on reducing the number of drunk drivers on the road. As this case shows, Maryland takes this offense very seriously, and the court will look at all evidence legally available to them in order to hold those offenders responsible for their actions.
Fred Antenberg is a Criminal Defense Attorney located in Howard County, Maryland and defends persons charges with DWI, DUI and other criminal charges. If you have been charged with with any of these offenses or any traffic violations, we can help you understand the charges against you and your options so that you can choose the right path moving forward and reach a good result. Fred Antenberg represents Defendants in Howard County, Maryland and surrounding counties. CONTACT Fred today at 410-730-4404 for your FREE Consultation.