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Should police be incentivized for DUI arrests?

| Mar 3, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

When performing DUI arrests, police remove drivers from the streets who could be a danger to others and themselves. However, is it necessary to incentivize these officers to make even more DUI arrests? It is a tricky question to answer. On one hand, it makes sense to remove those who are driving while intoxicated from the streets, but on the other hand, some officers take incentivization to the extreme as is the case with a Maryland State Trooper.

What can happen when DWI incentives are offered?

The Maryland Trooper belonged to an elite unit called the State Police Impaired Driving Effort, which was established to minimize drunk driving on state roads. The officer’s charges included issuing tickets and arresting fictitious individuals of DWI. No motive was established, but one could correlate the existence of incentives for DWI arrests to be the reason. The officer pleaded guilty to performing six fictitious arrests between January 2018 and December 2019.

Betrayals of community trust like this can tarnish the entire force’s reputation. In cases like these, it seems that incentives for DWI arrests are not a good idea.

DWI incentives and who they affect

In Maryland, anyone 21 and over can be arrested for DWI if their blood alcohol concentration exceeds the legal limit. When incentives exist for DWI arrests, drivers might suffer the consequences of these arrests at the hands of dishonest officers. This could result in innocent people facing charges of crimes they did not commit. Because many foods and some medications produce alcohol once metabolized, BAC breath tests can even produce false positives. Officers can easily overlook this fact when DWI incentives are staring them down. Seeking the help of an experienced DWI attorney is key if you believe that you have been wrongly accused.