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Should I take the breath test in Maryland?

If you are pulled over by a police officer or stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, you will at some point likely be asked to submit to a breath test. I can't tell you how many times I have been asked this question. My general advice is to take the test. The penalty for refusing the breath test are incredibly harsh in Maryland. Once you are asked to take the breath test by the police officer, here are the potential outcomes:

You take the test with a result under .08

There is no penalty or suspension by the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).

You take the test with a result over .08 but under .15

You face a suspension of your license for 45 days that may be modified for travel or work purposes, alcohol treatment, health care and/or school if the driver has not been convicted of DUI/DWI or had a suspension for a test result of .08 or above or a refusal within the last five years.

You take the test with a result of .15 or more

You face a suspension of your license for 90 days, with no modification for work purposes, alcohol treatment, health care and/or school, but the suspension may be modified to participation in the Ignition Interlock System Program for a period of 1 year.

You refuse to take the test

  • You face a suspension of your license for 120 days, with no modification for work purposes, alcohol treatment, health care and/or school, but the suspension may be modified to participation in the Ignition Interlock System Program for a period of 1 year.
  • Additional penalties in court - an additional 60 days in jail and/or $500.00 fine
  • If you have a Class A (CDL, or Commercial Driver's License), disqualification of your CDL for one year, or for three years for a 1st offense while transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded. For a second offense, disqualification of your CDL for life.

​The Ignition Interlock

​With the Ignition Interlock, if you have one or more violations during a monitoring period, you will be required to have the Interlock on your car for an additional month. You get three strikes (which also means three additional months, for a total of 15 months), if you get a 4th strike, even if it is on the last day of that 15th month, you will be terminated from the Interlock program, and you will face the entire original 120 day suspension.

​Even if you take the breath test, there are things that I can do to keep the test result out of court. Read more about why your breath test result was probably not accurate or download my FREE book "How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Maryland."

​If you are facing DUI charges and want Scott to take a look at your case, complete the DUI Case Evaluation Form and Scott will contact you.

I was arrested for DUI but I was asleep in my car, what will happen?

I was parked in front of a Royal Farms after I dropped off a few friends and I was very tried. I was in a very deep sleep when the officers opened my car door and said there was an odor of alcohol in my car. I ask them since they think I'm not able to drive let me take a test which they refused and they were very rude. I was booked and charged for DUI. Will something like this hold up in court because I'm very upset and have never had this happen before. I don't want to go to jail what will happen in a situation like this?

It is impossible for an attorney to predict what might happen in your case without a lot more information. It appears that you refused the breath test. If this is correct, then you are facing a 120 day suspension of your driver's license (or privilege to drive if you are not a Maryland-licensed driver).

It also appears that you might have some defenses in your case, but an attorney would need to act quickly to start his/her investigation (many Royal Farms have video cameras, and securing a copy of the video may only be possible for a short period of time).

Before you talk to ANY lawyer (including me), download my FREE book "How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Maryland." If you want Scott to take a look at your case, complete the DUI Case Evaluation Form and Scott will contact you.

I hired Scott for my second DUI which I received in Howard County. He represented me in court and at my MVA hearing as well. Throughout the entire process I felt very comfortable with Scott, his expertise and appreciated his responsiveness. His services were affordable and worth every penny. I'm happy with the outcome and praying to God I never need to hire a lawyer again but if I do, 100% it will be Scott! Thanks for everything!

Karen H.
Howard County DUI           

Will a 120 day suspension for insufficient breath test hurt me in Court in Howard County?

You need to speak with an experienced DUI lawyer.

It is possible to find out down to the milliliter how much if s breath sample you provided.

This, along with other information that the lawyer can help you gather may be the difference.

MVA penalty for refusal is either 120 day straight suspension or interlock for a year.

You will not need to go back through the MVA testing process once the suspension is completed.

The MVA Hearing and court case are completely separate

In Maryland can an officer run your tags randomly?

The police office can absolutely run your plates.

Many police cars (including most Maryland Transportation Authority Police Department cruisers) have plate scanning technology.

The officer must make a visual check to make sure that the operator of the vehicle matches the picture of the driver that appears on the officer's screen.

Just because the stop may be "good" (which it still may not be), there are certainly other defenses in a Driving While Suspended (DWS) case.

Many times, I have clients who were charges with the incorrect version of the DWS statute.

My first DUI was 10 years ago and just received my 2nd DUI. Will it count as my 1st or 2nd DUI in Court?

This most recent DUI will likely count as your second DUI. Depending on the County (and more importantly) the Judge, incarceration is absolutely a possibility.

You have several issues to deal with.

First is your driving privilege. With a .18 BrAC (Breath Alcohol Content), you will be facing at a minimum either a 90 day complete suspension of your license (or privilege to drive) or interlock device (breath test hooked up to your car) for a minimum of one year.

Read can read more about the breath test, license suspensions. Download my FREE guide "How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Maryland."

If you are facing DUI charges and want Scott to take a look at your case, complete the DUI Case Evaluation Form and Scott will contact you.

Charged with DUI?

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