Friday, 16 March 2012 13:27
Do I have to take the Breathalyzer test?
Simple answer? No. The United States Constitution protects you from self-incrimination. You are under no lawful obligation to submit to any type of chemical test during a traffic stop. You are not required to answer any incriminating questions that may be asked by the officer such as “have you been drinking’ or ‘where you at a bar tonight?”
Best answer? Probably. Maryland’s Implied Consent law says that the officer who pulls you over has the right to give you a preliminary sobriety test. Merely by driving on Maryland roads you are agreeing to take this test if asked to. The standard field sobriety test in Maryland is the breath test. The results serve as probable cause to arrest you for driving under the influence of alcohol. Refusing to take the test will result in the immediate suspension of your license for 120 days (first offense), or 1 year (second or subsequent offenses). The officer will take your license from you right on the spot, and issue you a 45 day temporary license. Your refusal can be used against you in court to prove that you had been drinking.
I failed the test – now what?
An experienced Maryland DUI defense attorney can help you get your license back. Maryland has very strict guidelines when it comes to administering a field sobriety test. Your lawyer should be able to review the report and find out if the test was properly given. If not, then it should be excluded and the results suppressed.