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Maryland DUI Stops

The following is an excerpt from an interview with a MD DUI lawyer. We also have information on:

Common Mistakes Officers Make at DUI Stops

Because every DUI is unique, there is no one big mistake, but there are several different varieties of police officer mistakes. One mistake is in the timing of the breath test, if they do the breath test outside of the two hour restriction. Another mistake is incorrect advisement of law, such as officers telling people that field sobriety tests are mandatory, which is exactly the opposite of the truth – field sobriety tests are totally voluntary. I had one suppression hearing because the officer said in court that they told the driver that they had to do field sobriety tests.

Which Parts Of A DUI Stop Can A Defense Lawyer Challenge?

Every part of every single stop. They can say that the stop was based on something that wasn’t a violation of law. Until recently, the middle brake light was a frequently stopped for and challengeable case. Another difficult decision that came out recently was that center brake lights now justify traffic stops. I had a case that was pending and I was looking forward to arguing that it was a bad stop because it was for the center brake light, but the court of special appeals said that is a justification for a stop. It’s getting tougher and tougher, but there are still areas to fight.

Big Mistakes for Drivers to Avoid at DUI Stops in Maryland

Allowing officers to search their vehicle, consenting to field sobriety tests, and admitting consumption of alcohol are all major mistakes that people make. As a general rule, if an officer has asked you if you committed a crime and you have, the correct answer should be silence. Never admit to a police officer that you committed a crime. That seems like common sense, but it’s amazing how often people forget that in the heat of the moment. They think they should be cooperative and friendly to make the officer’s job easier, but the officer’s job is to arrest them for DUI, so people should not try to make their job easy.

Tips for Dealing with DUI Stops

Be polite, be courteous, but don’t necessarily be cooperative. Don’t give an officer permission to search your vehicle. Don’t give an officer additional evidence. Don’t perform field sobriety tests. Keep in mind that when an officer pulls you over for suspicion of DUI, their goal is to arrest you, so you want to make that as difficult a job as possible for the officer while maintaining a courteous and respectful demeanor.

Call the Maryland Criminal Defense Group Today To Learn More

Prior to going into private practice I was an administrative law judge in Colorado, so I was the individual who took a person’s driver’s license for DUIs. I would see 15 DUIs every single day, which adds up quickly. When you see tens of thousands of DUI cases you develop a sense of the statistical universe of DUIs. I have seen the same defense 500 times, or I have seen this set of circumstances a couple hundred times. Because my only practice area in Maryland is DUIs, that allows me to keep up on the laws, the science, and everything you need to be a competent DUI defense attorney.