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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.

Scott Athen
 

Husband, father of 2 awesome daughters & DUI lawyer. I bleed orange in the summer, purple in the fall & camo during goose season!

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