Regarding bogus DUI arrests in Maryland, I have had clients tell me about the nefarious behavior of officers for years, however I have never witnessed the behavior personally, until last night. On Friday, May 22nd at 10:50 p.m. I left Chilly’s Restaurant on Route 32 and Londontown Blvd in Carroll County, Maryland, with my fiancee and her mother. I was lawfully sitting at the red light waiting to turn onto Route 32 North. At that time a female State Trooper (didn’t get her car number, wish I had) drove past the intersection where I was waiting on the light and proceeded northbound towards Finksburg. The traffic was light at this hour as I was the only car at the intersection- mind you, just sitting there. After the trooper past me the light changed and I pulled onto 32 northbound as well.
At the next traffic signal, with the trooper several hundred yards in front of me, she strangely turned right and pulled into an empty parking lot of the medical facility, which I observed. Figuring she was up to no good I watched her. She then turned around and pulled out and began to follow. me. I’m thinking, well maybe she got a call, maybe she is not being evil, so I gave her the benefit of the doubt and executed a right turn onto a small street to see what she would do- mind you there have been zero traffic infractions as she just passed me at a red light.
I execute my right turn and what do you know, she executes a right turn behind my vehicle. This is unbelievable! I have done nothing and she is following me around hoping that I will screw up so she can pull me over. Getting madder by the moment, I pull into a private driveway and she slowly drives past my vehicle. I turn around in the driveway and wait a few minutes and what do you know, this female trooper with nothing better to do turned around again and drives past my position on the driveway and keeps going back out to route 32.
I need to travel down 32 to go home so I figure I’ll see her again. I pull onto route 32 and a few seconds later, boom, there are the flashing emergency lights of the Maryland State Trooper. However, they weren’t for me! Seems while she was on the side of the road “baiting” her next poor unsuspecting victim (hoping it to be me I gather), she got some other victim. I drove past her, went home and decided to put the word out.
Now Carroll County is tough, everybody knows that. You can’t drive on the streets of Carroll County, particularly at night without seeing a police officer; nothing wrong with that, keeps the streets safe for the good citizens of this county. However, this baiting, victimizing behavior by a State Trooper, is completely unacceptable! She was intentionally trying to force a situation (a stop) where there was none. The tactics employed include stopping you the minute you touch either lane marking (which is essentially a bad stop depending on degree), stopping you the minute you exceed the speed limit, riding your tail until you exceed the speed limit, looking for a tag light out etc. Basically, if they want to stop you bad enough, they will find a reason.
It’s one thing to police our streets and make them safe from alcohol offenders, it’s entirely another when troopers have quotas or personal requirements and essentially force drivers to engage in some behavior which then allows troopers like this to stop the vehicle. The courts and the judges do not hear this side of the story very often and if they did, they would not believe it anyway as more credence is given to the officer’s version of events. This is deplorable and despicable!
Now, I only drank ice tea that night which is my normal, but bear this in mind: One might say, well, if your not drunk you have nothing to hide, so who cares of this trooper pulls this crappy, dubious, borderline illegal behavior. Well, consider this, the legal limit in Maryland is .08. The signs say it, the billboards over our highways say it and we all know it. However, I was just retained earlier this week to defend a .04. That’s right, .04, roughly 2 beers, half the legal limit and the poor client is arrested and charged and now his life is in turmoil until I fix this situation.
Thus, what we have are over enthusiastic troopers and law enforcement (again, not all of them but this female trooper was out of control) who will stop your car at any expense. Then, despite a .08 BAC legal limit, if you blow a .04, half the limit, meaning you are presumed to be Not under the influence, they write you anyway. Embarrassing you in the community, before your family, costing you money, threatening your job, causing emotional turmoil, etc.
This behavior is totally unacceptable and should not be tolerated by the community, by the brass in the police department, or the courts and judges.