Maryland Breathalyzer Testing

Whether a person is subjected to a Breathalyzer test in Maryland will depend on where they are driving and who the officer is that pulls them over. Breathalyzer tests are one of the major chemical tests local law enforcement officials administer to test if someone is under the influence while operating a car. There is a lot of weight placed on these tests, and local prosecutors and judges consider them with confidence during DUI cases. Thus, it is important to have a Maryland DUI lawyer review the facts of your case to prepare a defense.

The type of driving that usually causes an officer to pull an individual over for a DUI or DWI may include a failure to maintain a fixed lane, driving without headlights, or speeding depending on the situation. Once an officer initiates a stop, they may or may not decide to extend their investigation into a DUI investigation.

Initial DUI Analysis

Prior to a Maryland police officer initiating a breathalyzer test, they are going to smell and see if they are able to detect any odor of alcohol. They may subsequently ask questions to listen to the way that the individual speaks to see if they are slurring their words. If an individual has trouble with their coordination when producing their license and registration and have bad balance when exiting their vehicle, this may lead to a Breathalyzer test.

Most importantly, the officer is going to have the individual participate in standardized field sobriety tests. These are roadside tests that an officer will do prior to arresting somebody for suspicion of DUI.

Breathalyzer Test Refusal

The penalty for a first offense refusal to a Breathalyzer test in Maryland is 270 days and no driving. This is not modifiable unless an individual participates in the ignition interlock program. This program requires a person to have an interlock installed in their car for one year.

How a Maryland DUI Lawyer Can Help

A person who an officer has determined should take a Breathalyzer test may request to speak with their Maryland DUI attorney. Depending on the circumstances, the officers may allow the attorney to be present. If the individual does not take a test within two house of their arrest, the officer may consider this to be a refusal to take a Breathalyzer test. For instance, if an individual calls their attorney at 2:00 a.m. and tells the police that they will not take the test without their lawyer present, but they are not able to reach their attorney by  4:00 a.m., this may be seen as a refusal to submit to a Breathalyzer test.

How to Handle a Stop

When a person is stopped and suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol the most important thing to do is not make any statements to the police officers and do not participate in a field sobriety test. A person should make every attempt to contact a Maryland DUI lawyer prior to participating in a Breathalyzer test or any other type of chemical testing.