Question: Is it better for my case if I to fail the breath test or if I refuse a Maryland DUI breath test?
Answer: Well, that depends on what you’d like to have as a result of your case. If winning the case with a not guilty is the preferred result of a case, then refusing the breath test could be the best avenue to take because they will not have a BAC, blood alcohol content, number to utilize against the defendant driver and that makes the state’s attorney’s case one step harder for them to prove. If one really wants to win their case, then not blowing in the machine is fairly important, and certainly not engaging in field sobriety tests.
The state’s attorney and the judge put an unusually high bias on the field sobriety tests, and they put even a higher bias on them in the absence of a breath alcohol number. So if you can give or if you do give the judge or prosecutor a basis to convict you for, say, impairment because you did not do perfectly on the field test, then you are sort of almost convicting yourself, even in the absence of blowing. So, therefore, if you really want to win your case, never perform field sobriety tests because they can convict you off those alone. And then secondarily, do not blow in the machine.
If those two double refusal is done by a defendant driver, then the evidence that the state has to use against a person will be severely limited. So if they pulled you over for a crappy reason of a tag light being out and they got you out of the car and your speech was relatively clear and you refused to blow, the evidence against you would be fairly thin, and therefore the chances of your success would be higher. Having said that, when, on a first offense if you refuse to blow in the state of Maryland, you’re facing a 120-day suspension of your drivers license or a one-year interlock. So there are certain hurdles that the MVA will hurl at you as a result of a refusal to blow. But, like I said, if winning the case hands-down is the most important thing, then a refusal would benefit you and a double refusal would be even better; unless, of course, you were highly-coordinated and can follow directions and do field tests in the middle of the night with the officer yelling at you and cars going by a million miles an hour.