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Refusing Alcohol and Drug Testing in Maryland

Law enforcement takes drunk driving charges extremely seriously. As a result, if an officer suspects someone of a DUI, they may use every tool in their arsenal to prove a driver is impaired while operating a motor vehicle. Some of these tools may include drug and alcohol tests.

Many people may not know that they have the option to sustain from breathalyzers and drug tests given by a police officer when they are pulled over. However, there are many unfavorable effects of refusing alcohol or drug testing in Maryland. If you have been charged with a DUI and denied drug or alcohol testing, contact a skilled DUI attorney for help on your case.

Types of Samples Used for DUI Tests

One standard of checking for the presence of alcohol is a breath test. Police officers use breathalyzers or intoximeters to perform breath tests. These devices can only check for the presence of alcohol. Maryland law enforcement may also use blood and urine tests to check for the presence of alcohol or drugs.

Implied Consent and Refusing to be Tested for Drugs or Alcohol

If a person refuses to be tested during a DUI stop for the first time, their license is automatically suspended for 120 days. Any subsequent refusal is an automatic license voidance of one year. Although offenders have the option for an MVA hearing, it may not result in the return of their license. To deny an officer from administering a drug or alcohol test, an individual must verbally state this request.

Maryland has an implied consent rule. This policy states that the act of driving in Maryland or having a state license gives law enforcement the right to test an individual if they believe they are driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

This policy implies that a driver must verbally indicate that they do not wish to be tested to avoid a breath, blood, or urine test. Because implied consent specifically applies to driver’s license suspension and not a crime that may have been committed, it does not violate a citizen’s Fifth Amendment right to avoid incriminating themselves. Also, the court considers the ownership of a driver’s license a privilege, and therefore, a license suspension does not infringe upon someone’s constitutional rights.

Successfully Arguing Against Implied Consent

If the person denies submitting to a drug or alcohol test and is facing a license suspension under the implied consent policy, they may challenge something specific as to the application of that policy.

This means that a lawyer may challenge the implied consent policy based on the case. There may be issues as to whether it applies to the accused person in their particular situation, but the policy itself cannot be disputed because it has already been deemed constitutional. The chances of making a successful argument to the courts against implied consent are slim, but it can be done with the help of an attorney.

Enrollment in an Alcohol Education Course After Avoiding DUI Testing

If a person refuses to take a DUI test and faces automatic license revocation, they may be able to have some restricted driving privileges reinstated by participating in an alcohol education course. The court may grant the offender a restricted driver’s license or reinstatement of their license at the end of the automatic suspension period.

Justifiable Reasons for Refusing a Breath Test

A person may have several justifiable reasons for refusing a breath test. If someone has a medical condition that could result in a false positive, this is a reason for refusing to take a breath test. Certain liver and other medical conditions are known to affect the results of a breathalyzer test. They also may have a lung condition or other breathing disorder that inhibits them from being physically able to submit to a test.

A person may have certain allergies that could also impact their ability to take a breath test. If someone is allergic to the material on the mouthpiece on the breathalyzer, this could prevent them from submitting to a breath test.

Submitting a valid sample during a breath test requires significant lung capacity. During a breath test, a person must expel a sustained, hard breath that is much greater than a normal breathing pattern. If a person is not able to do this, they would be unable to submit a valid sample for a breathalyzer test.

Receive Legal Advice After Denying an Alcohol or Drug Test in Maryland

You have the right to refuse drug or alcohol testing in Maryland if you are accused of drinking and driving. However, the consequences of doing so may be harsh. Contact a DUI attorney if you have been pulled over after being suspected of a DUI. An attorney may be able to help you get your license back.

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