What Does Maryland’s Implied Consent Law Mean for DUI?
Being pulled over for DUI in Maryland is a nerve-wracking experience that can present a number of questions. If you’re stopped for DUI, do you have the option to avoid a chemical test to determine your BAC, or blood alcohol content? What are your rights during a DUI investigation? Why did the law enforcement officer pull you over? Don’t they need a warrant to conduct a search?
If you’re facing a DUI charge in Maryland, it’s crucial to secure the counsel of an experienced DUI lawyer. Attorney Hillel Traub has more than 20 years of experience providing aggressive DUI defense in Baltimore and surrounding areas and can help you appeal to the court to mitigate or drop your charges. His unique experience as a former Assistant Attorney General for the MVA can help you achieve the best outcome possible in your case.
How Law Enforcement Officers May Pursue DUI Arrests in Maryland
In Maryland, there is an implied consent law that allows police officers to investigate suspicious drivers. Under typical circumstances, police officers may not stop and search a person without reasonable grounds to believe they broke the law, and they usually require a warrant before arresting anyone or searching their property. But, in DUI cases, police officers may follow a different set of rules.
While police officers still require reasonable suspicion to stop a driver they suspect is under the influence, they do not need a search warrant to conduct tests to confirm their suspicions and place the driver under arrest for DUI. Reasonable suspicion may include observing erratic and dangerous driving behavior, such as speeding, swerving into another lane, weaving within a lane, driving the wrong way down a one-way street, and other violations.
What is “Implied Consent”?
Implied consent is recognized throughout the United States. These laws state that when individuals apply for their driver’s licenses in any of the 50 states, they consent to provide law enforcement with a sample of breath, blood, or urine following a DUI arrest to measure their BAC.
Field Sobriety Tests for a Maryland DUI
Police officers who suspect a drunk driver may initially request field sobriety tests to gauge a driver’s intoxication level. These tests include:
● One-leg stand test
● Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test
● Walk-and-Turn test
You may legally refuse to take any of the above tests. If you refuse to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test, however, you may face penalties in addition to any DUI penalties you may face if you are convicted because of the implied consent statute in the Maryland Transportation Code.
Do I Have to Take a Breath Test After a DUI Arrest?
By law, if police have grounds to stop you, they can perform chemical tests without waiting for a warrant. The main part of this law to remember is that anyone who operates a vehicle on a highway or private property used by the public are deemed to have consented to take a test if they are detained on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, a combination of the two.
Legally, you have the right to refuse any and all tests the police wish to impose after a DUI stop. Police officers may not physically force you to submit a breath or blood sample. But, if you do refuse to submit a chemical BAC test, you may be subject to consequences by the Motor Vehicle Administration.
The consequences for refusing to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test in a DUI investigation are:
● Suspended license for up to 270 days
● Fines of up to $500
Criminal penalties may include jail time for refusing a chemical test.
If you have a commercial driver’s license and are arrested for DUI with a CDL in Maryland, the refusal to submit to a chemical test may result in the disqualification of your CDL for one year for your first refusal. If you refuse a second time, you may lose your CDL for life.
Challenge Your DUI and License Suspension in Baltimore
Attorney Hillel Traub serves residents of Baltimore and surrounding areas who face criminal traffic charges like DUI. Call The Law Office of Hillel Traub for a free consultation regarding your DUI case. We are a boutique law firm that provides aggressive, informed, and thorough criminal defense. Call (410) 580-1100 or complete our contact form.