Blood Tests and DUIs
In Washington a new law was passed allowing police officers to draw blood from people they suspect of driving under the influence even if the individual refuses to give the blood sample. This is not a law in Maryland. In Maryland, an officer can either use a breathalyzer on you or perform a field sobriety test. However, this law had me thinking about the consent issue behind the Washington law–since even if you refuse, the officer can still test you. To be pulled over for drinking and driving in Maryland, the officer must have a reasonable suspicion you are driving under the influence, such as excessive speed, swerving, no lights on, etc. Once you are pulled over, the officer must ask you if you will consent to using a breathalyzer or participating in a field sobriety test. You have the right to refuse. However if you refuse, the State has a right to impose a hefty consequence on you for making that call. Even if you are later found not guilty of the charge, your license will be suspended for 120 days to one year for refusing to take the breath test.
An officer must follow specific procedures during the stop of a pedestrian suspected of driving under the influence. Any one of a number of steps could be violated by an officer during the stop. An attorney can hep assist you in reviewing the evidence against you and hopefully identify one of several possible defenses that could be used. Read up on some of the defenses Fred Antenberg has discovered during his years of defending clients charged with Driving Under the Influence HERE.
If you have been driving after a night of drinking, there will be consequences whether you decide to take the breathalyzer or not. The penalties may seem severe, but anything is better than injuring someone after irresponsibly driving. Fred can go over your case with you, discussing the possible options you have, whether it be losing your license for a specific period of time, attempting to get a restricted license, or participating in the Maryland Interlock System Program where your vehicle can only be started after breathing into a machine that can tell you have not been drinking. Whichever option is best for you, Fred will have you in the decision.
The easiest way to avoid any of the topics and concerns above is always to NEVER drink and drive.