Am I required to submit a breath test?
Generally speaking, a person cannot be forced to incriminate themselves. However, under Maryland law, as in most states, DUI’s remain an exception to this rule. Under Maryland DUI law, having a driver’s license is considered a privilege and is not automatic right. Therefore, by having the privilege to drive, you also give “implied consent” to submit to a breath test if the police officer has “reasonable grounds” to believe that the driver is under the influence of alcohol. The theory is that since you chose to drive on a public roadway, you consented to the rules regarding driving while intoxicated.
However, a police officer can not force you to take the Breathalyzer test at any point and you have the right to refuse it. Understand though that your refusal can have several additional consequences including a potential longer suspension of your driver’s license.
You are not required to take a Preliminary Breath Test.
You may refuse the Preliminary Breath Test without any penalty. The officer might ask you to take a breath test immediately upon being pulled over, but the test is merely a preliminary alcohol screening, and is not the breath test you are required to take. You may refuse to take this breath test without losing your license. In fact, this preliminary screening device is not very accurate for a variety of reasons. If you have had anything to drink, it is best not to take this test. Just be sure to tell the officer that you would like to refuse this preliminary screening test only and that you will submit to a blood or breath test at a police station.
Assert Your Right To A Lawyer
Suppose a police officer pulls you over, asks you to do some tests roadside, and then, after you finish those tests, asks if you to take a breath test. He hasn’t read you any of your rights. He hasn’t told you that you have a right to a lawyer.
The whole time you are wondering to yourself – IS THIS LEGAL?
Deciding to take a breath test is not an easy question, especially when you have limited time and information. Maryland’s highest court has said that you have a right to AT LEAST try and talk to an attorney before making a decision to submit to a breath test. Many times police officers will try to rush you through the decision.
Assert your right to talk to a lawyer. Appreciate you are probably going to be arrested, but, now there is no chemical evidence of the level of alcohol in your system.
So Should I Blow? It Depends
The impending consequences in court must be considered when deciding whether to blow or not to blow. Generally, in Maryland state court, a first offender can obtain a probation before judgment (no conviction and no points), if found guilty of a DUI. An exception to that can be in serious accident cases and cases with extremely high test results. That being said, a first offender is usually better off submitting to a breath test since the penalties in court may be tolerable irrespective of the blow test result.
However, if the driver has had a prior DUI within the previous ten years, probation before judgment is not possible. A breath test then makes it more likely that the driver will be convicted of the higher level DUI offense. In these cases, refusal can often yield a less severe outcome, and may enhance the chances of winning or reducing the case in court.
If a person is stone cold sober or has had only a small amount of alcohol, then it is advisable to take the test. If a person is highly intoxicated, probably little good will come from a high breath test result.
How I Attempt To Beat The Testing In Court?
Most people have their alcohol level tested by blowing into a breath-testing device at the police station after being arrested for a DUI.
These testing devices can be faulty and sometimes are not maintained properly, or they are not properly calibrated. They can register false results based on your consumption of food and other non-harmful substances other than alcohol or drugs.
I can get police records on how the breath-testing machine operates and how it was maintained and calibrated. If there are problems with the testing, the operation or functioning of the testing, or how the machine was calibrated, these can be used to knock out the results and this evidence. I can also hire an expert for you who can examine what happened, and if there was a problem can testify that the particular breath-testing machine the officer used had a problem. This could have the effect of having the evidence thrown out.
Blood tests are hard to beat. I am giving this to you honestly. Blood tests are hard to beat. I am giving this to you honestly. It is very difficult to challenge the result of a blood test, so it is very likely that your level of alcohol, if coming from a blood test, will come in to evidence to prove your level of intoxication. Also, a blood test is usually very accurate, and the blood sample can be retested for even greater accuracy.
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