Traffic Offenses in Salisbury DUI Cases
Traffic laws in Salisbury are heavily enforced by the Maryland State Police who enforces these traffic laws on US Route 50 and US Route 13. There is a great deal of speed enforcement that is conducted by the Maryland State Police on both of those highways. Within the actual city limits of Salisbury, there is also traffic enforcement conducted by the Salisbury City Police Department as well as the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office. If you have been charged with a traffic offense, especially as it relates to a driving under the influence charge, make sure to speak with a Salisbury DUI lawyer to find out how to defend yourself.
There are traffic violations that may carry jail time. They are very similar to criminal offenses in that they have a similar potential penalty. However, they are not criminal offenses, they are violations of the Traffic Article of the Maryland Annotated Code. Traffic violations however can sometimes leads to a driver facing other potential offenses some of which can be criminal.
Involvement of Local Police Officers and Officials
Sometimes city ordinances can come into play during criminal cases. An officer might be investigating a violation of a city or county ordinance. That investigation could potentially lead to other charges, which are criminal in nature. For example, there are noise ordinances in both the city of Salisbury and in Wicomico County. An investigation of the noise ordinance could potentially then lead to an investigation for a criminal case. An example of that could be an officer investigating a noise violation at a home that somehow that transitions into a search of the home. The search of the home might lead officers to seizing items that are illegal to possess, such as drugs.
Local ordinances can certainly come into play during a criminal case, because an investigation for a local ordinance could turn into a potential criminal investigation.
Law Enforcement Priorities in Salisbury
Traffic offenses are absolutely an area of focus in Salisbury and that is even more accurate a statement when applied to the Maryland State Police. The local agency of Salisbury City Police department is of course responsible for enforcing the laws throughout the city of Salisbury and that would include any traffic related offenses that occur on the roads in the city. Enforcing traffic laws is a huge part of what they do. There is a significant law enforcement presence on those highways especially at night and especially on the weekends. There is a lot of attention paid to any driver that is suspected to be driving under the influence. A major part of the reason is that traffic offenses can sometimes lead to the discovery or suspicion of DUI offenses, something Salisbury prosecutors very much want to cut down on.
Where Traffic Offenses Are Heard
There is a full service Motor Vehicle Administration office located on Route 50 and Tilghman Road in Salisbury, Maryland. If a Salisbury resident has requested to have a hearing at the MVA, the hearing would take place at that location.
If the person is charged while in Salisbury, but the person actually resides in a different location within that state, then the MVA hearing would take place at the full service MVA office closest to the driver’s home address.
Driving Under the Influence in Salisbury
In order to be convicted of driving under the influence, Salisbury prosecutors must prove several elements. The first of which is that the defendant was driving or operating or somehow in actual physical control of a vehicle. Then the State has to prove that at the time the defendant had consumed alcohol to the point that the driver’s normal coordination was substantially impaired. The person does not need to blow a 0.08 BAC in order to be charged. A defendant can be charged even if there is no breath test at all.
In order to be convicted under a scenario like that, however, Salisbury prosecutors would need to have evidence that would prove that the driver’s coordination was substantially impaired. That evidence would have to come from testimony, which will most likely come from the arresting officer in your case.
If the driver decides to take a breath test and if the breath test result is a 0.08 or greater, that is a piece of evidence at trial that a judge could consider in determining guilt. The way that Maryland law is written, the court can take that breath test result as evidence that the person is driving under the influence. There does not need to be any further evidence presented. The court would not have to hear testimony about the officer’s observations because that breath test alone can be considered evidence enough that the driver is driving under the influence of alcohol. Regardless of the breath test result, Salisbury prosecutors must still prove that the defendant was operating a vehicle. If the State can’t place the defendant behind the wheel, the breath test result is irrelevant. If the person does take a breath test, and if the test result is a 0.08 or greater, it’s incredibly damaging evidence that will be used against the defendant.