Call Now For An Assessment Of Your Needs (410) 680-3617
  • By: The Bishop Law Group
  • Published: March 26, 2024
A glass of alcohol, car key and handcuffs symbolizing DUI Offense

If you have ever had the “privilege” of being pulled over by the police on a routine traffic stop, you know how stressful they can quickly become. And if you have the misfortune to say or do the wrong thing, you can quickly find yourself under arrest for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). This article covers the basics you need to know about your rights and DUI law so the next time you get pulled over, you know what to do and say (or not!), including:

  • Why you might not want to refuse a breath or blood sample, even if you are legally allowed to.
  • How to hold on to your driving privileges as much as possible after a DUI arrest.
  • The penalties for a DUI conviction and why you should always hire a DUI defense attorney.

How Is Driving Under The Influence Defined Under Maryland Law?

Driving Under the Influence is a criminal charge defined as operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway while under the influence of alcohol. If you submit to a breathalyzer test and your blood alcohol concentration level is above 0.08, that is deemed to be over the legal alcohol limit.

Given that definition, some drivers might be tempted to not give a breath or blood sample after an arrest, but this is not always a good idea.

What Happens If I Refuse To Give A Breath Or Blood Sample During A DUI Arrest In Maryland?

Under Maryland law, you are not required to provide a blood or breath sample in Maryland.

However, any refusal to provide a blood or breath sample will impact your ability to operate a motor vehicle in the state of Maryland. This is because Maryland is an applied consent state.

When you receive your driver’s license, you agree to certain administrative penalties if you do not submit a blood or breath sample when requested by an officer.

Often, this means a suspension of your driver’s license for an even longer duration than the penalty for being convicted of driving under the influence.

What Happens To My Driver’s License After A DUI Charge In Baltimore County?

Even if you are arrested and charged for driving under the influence in Maryland or Baltimore County, you will not immediately lose your driver’s license. If you choose to do nothing, however, you will lose it on the 46th day after being charged with a DUI.

On the other hand, if you request a hearing, that suspension will be held until your administrative hearing is concluded. During this hearing, your attorney may be able to help you avoid a suspension or find an alternative, such as an interlock device or work-based exception.

What Are The Penalties For A DUI Conviction In Maryland? What About My Driver’s License?

Maryland has a two-tiered system for DUI conviction penalties. You have administrative penalties, and you have criminal penalties.

If you are convicted of DUI in Maryland, most likely, a judge will require you to have an interlock placed in your vehicle. However, if it is your first time, they may not require it. Instead, the Office of Administrative Hearings has penalties for such incidents.

As a result, it can be tempting to just plead guilty to get it over with and move on – but you should never do so without at least discussing your case with an attorney first.

If I Plan To Plead Guilty To A DUI Charge, Do I Really Need A DUI Defense Attorney?

Ultimately, you should always consult with an attorney before pleading; after all, you may not be guilty of a DUI…

You may, in fact, only be guilty of a lesser included offense called a DWI, which is driving while impaired, which carries significantly lower penalties. Notably, only up to 60 days in jail, fewer points on your license, and lower fines.

Additionally, the prosecution and police may not actually have sufficient evidence or the grounds to prove your case, but they certainly won’t tell you that. An experienced DUI attorney like Brian Bishop can find loopholes and force them to respect your rights and comply with regulations. There are a lot of regulations under the COMAR statutes that the officers need to comply with.

These can combine to significantly reduce your charge and penalties or even get the case tossed out entirely. Given the impact of a DUI conviction on your career, driving privileges, and more, it is always worth exploring other options with an attorney before pleading guilty. For more information on Handling DUI Offenses In Maryland, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (410) 680-3617 today.

Contact Attorney Brian Bishop for legal services in Maryland - The Bishop Law Group

Attorney Brian Bishop is a top-ranked Maryland personal injury attorney. Recognized for his successes in the courtroom and exceptional customer service, his passion for personal injury and criminal defense is powered by a deep dedication to others.

Attorney Bishop aims to share his knowledge of insurance behavior and criminal investigations to empower people across the state. Connect with The Bishop Law Group today to stay up to date on the latest in Maryland DUI and personal injury law.

Call Now For An Assessment Of Your Needs - (410) 680-3617

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