When you get pulled over, the officer questioning you may ask you to take a breathalyzer test to find your BAC level so that they can determine whether or not you are driving under the influence. However, in some cases, you may feel inclined to decline the test and take your chances in court. You may have taken some medication that would impair your ability to drive. You may have had a few drinks. Either way, if you’re nervous about passing the breathalyzer, you should refuse it, right? This is not usually the case.
Refusing the Test Comes With Its Own Penalties
If you choose to refuse the breathalyzer test, then you will face the suspension of your license regardless of how you would have tested. That is to say, if you were completely sober and refused the test, your license would be suspended. The state of Maryland takes test refusal very seriously and it is often treated with more gravity than if you had failed the test in terms of suspension length.
Implied Consent Will Impact Your DUI Charges
When you apply to get your driver’s license, you are consenting to be breath tested for alcohol if an officer of the law ever suspects you to be driving under the influence. It is part of the agreement whether you are aware of it or not. When you fail a breathalyzer test, you are able to go to an MVA hearing to plead your case and possibly obtain a restricted license. However, if you refuse the test, your license will be suspended for 270 days.
If this happens a second time, your license will be suspended for 1 year. You will be able to apply for the ignition interlock program so that you can drive your car, but there is no guarantee the MVA will grant you this option. You’re running a huge risk, so make sure you’re weighing your options and proceeding with caution.
When Should You Accept the Breathalyzer?
In most cases, you should submit a breath test, particularly if this is your first time getting charged with a DUI or DWI. In many cases, you will be able to get a probation before judgment, which offers an attractive option for your future. However, if this is your second or third offense then you should proceed with serious caution.
A high BAC level could lead a judge and jury to treat your case more harshly, especially if someone was injured or killed as a result of your driving. However, if someone is injured or killed, you will likely be forced to take the test one way or another.
Call on Albers & Associates to Help With Your DUI
If you’ve been charged with a DUI in the state of Maryland, then you need the aid of seasoned legal professionals. Contact us today for more information and to learn more about how we can help.
Will I Lose My License?
You might. Depending on the type of license you have and whether or not you are convicted, your license may be suspended or even revoked depending on the circumstances of your charges. However, even being charged with a DUI can result in the suspension of your license, which can affect your life substantially.
Will I Lose My Job?
It depends on your job. At the time of your arrest, the police officer will confiscate your license and provide you with a paper license that you can use until your MVA Hearing. However, for people who hold commercial driver’s licenses, also known as CDLs, this will not replace the license you need to do your job. So, until the charges are cleared, you will not be able to work. Getting on the phone with a lawyer as soon as humanly possible is essential for your continued employment.
Am I Going to Jail?
You might. If you are found guilty of a DUI, particularly if this is your second or third offense, you may face jail time. One possible outcome of DUI court proceedings, a Probation Before Judgment, can be sought. If you are able to secure a PBJ, you will be able to avoid going to jail.