Maryland DUI Breathalyzer
If you are suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) in Maryland, the officer who stops you will almost certainly ask you to perform a breathalyzer in order to determine your level of intoxication. If the results of this test indicate you are driving with an illegal amount of alcohol in your system, you will be arrested and charged with DUI. Here’s what to expect if an officer ask you to perform a Maryland DUI breathalyzer.
Also known as a breath test, a breathalyzer measures blood-to-alcohol ratio based on the amount of alcohol found in your breath—a percentage known as blood alcohol content, or BAC. Under federal law, any person operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is considered legally impaired. However, state law specifies additional scenarios where a person can be arrested with a BAC below this limit.
If you are 21 or older, a blood alcohol content of 0.05% or less does not constitute impairment. On the other hand, driving with a 0.06% BAC could warrant an arrest if you are driving in a manner that suggests you are under the influence—such as driving on the wrong side of the road or disobeying traffic laws, for example.
When it comes to underage drinking and driving, Maryland lawmakers show little leniency to drivers. Under the state’s DUI laws, individuals under 21 can be arrested for driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.02% or more. In addition, any driver who refuses to perform a breathalyzer can also be arrested for DUI due to the state’s Implied Consent Law.
While the laws regarding DUI in Maryland may seem pretty cut and dry, law enforcement are expected to follow a few ground rules when they are administering breath tests. First and foremost, the test must be conducted within two hours after initially stopping you. In addition, the official breath test must be given at the police station or a medical facility, and by a qualified individual with the appropriate testing equipment. Finally, you also have the right to request an independent test be performed in addition to the one administered by law enforcement.
If one or more of the above legal requirements are not met, the results of your breathalyzer may be inadmissible in court. As a result, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense attorney immediately after being arrested for a DUI in Maryland. With the right defense, you may be able to prove that your arrest was unwarranted—leading the judge to reduce your charges or dismiss your case altogether.
If you have any questions about Maryland DUI law, Bruce Robinson is available 24/7 to answer your questions at 443-524-7395. You can also receive a free digital copy of The Maryland DUI Fact Book by completing a short online form here.