Howard County police recently set up a DUI checkpoint on Maryland Route 1. The checkpoint, which was located in North Laurel, began in the late evening on Friday night and extended into the early morning hours of Saturday. Police chose the location after examining DUI arrest data and traffic accident data where alcohol was involved. Howard County police did not release the exact hours of the DUI checkpoint, or how many officers were involved in the operation, but typical DUI checkpoints last roughly 6 hours and involve at least 10 police officers. Howard County did release the statistics of how many cars were stopped and how many arrests were made. In total, the DUI checkpoint resulted in 690 vehicles being stopped, and a total of 5 people being arrested. Of the 5 arrests, two were for driving on a suspended license, and 3 arrests were for DUI. One of the suspects arrested for DUI was 18 years old, and was also charged with a separate alcohol charge of underage drinking.
Howard County police reported that other drivers displayed signs of alcohol consumption, but these drivers were not arrested because they did not meet the legal criteria for impairment. Police officers distributed literature on the dangers of drinking and driving to all drivers that passed through the DUI checkpoint. DUI checkpoints are scheduled a few times per year in Howard County. Typically police will schedule a DUI checkpoint during times where alcohol consumption is higher than normal, such as during St. Patrick's Day and on the Fourth of July. This most recent checkpoint was scheduled after the Fourth of July DUI checkpoint was called off due to rain. Other Maryland jurisdictions such as Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County schedule DUI checkpoints as well, but Howard County holds DUI checkpoints with greater regularity.