One Maryland DUI term that is used quite often is DUI per se. Many of my DUI clients come to me during their free consultation with questions regarding this term and charge.
What does per se mean?
Per se is a Latin phrase that means “by itself.” In driving under the influence terms, it means that the amount of alcohol in a driver’s system can constitute a crime by itself without any other evidence.
What does DUI per se mean?
In Maryland, DUI per se pertains to the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of a suspected drunk driver. A person who operates a vehicle with a BAC over the 0.08 legal limit in Maryland is guilty of DUI per se.
When a suspected drunk driver takes a breathalyzer test or blood draw, the police officer is measuring how much alcohol they have in their system. Under Maryland DUI per se law, the only evidence needed to prove that a DUI was committed is the fact that the drunk driver had a blood alcohol concentration that was over the 0.08 legal limit.
What is the Maryland DUI per se law?
The Maryland DUI per se law is a way of making it illegal for a driver to operate with a certain amount of alcohol in their system regardless of how it affects their ability to drive.
Under Maryland 21-902(a)(2), a person who operates a vehicle and is over the legal alcohol concentration limit of 0.08 or more is guilty of DUI per se. In order to prove its DUI case, the State’s Attorney’s Office will only need to show that:
- The defendant was operating or attempting to operate a vehicle
- A breathalzyer test or blood draw showed that the defendant had an alcohol concentration that was 0.08 or more
Maryland 21-902(a)(2), DUI per se, carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine.
Are there defenses to Maryland DUI per se?
Many of my DUI clients accused of DUI per se feel that they will be convicted no matter what because the breathalyzer shows that they had an alcohol concentration over the legal limit. While this is true in some respects, there is still a lot that an experienced Maryland DUI Attorney can do for someone accused of DUI per se.
First, BAC test results can be challenged. These devices can produce inaccurate results for a variety of reasons. For example, breathalyzers must be calibrated correctly. Also, errors can occur is the police and breathalyzer technician do not follow the statutory protocol. All of theses defenses can be explored and raised with your Maryland DUI Attorney either at a free consultation or at trial.
A Maryland DUI Attorney can also work with the State’s Attorney’s Office to get your DUI per se charges reduced or dismissed. For example, if the police officer made a mistake or violated the defendant’s right at some point during the arrest, the charges could be thrown out.
Schedule a Free DUI per se Consultation
If you have been arrested in Maryland for DUI per se, then contact the Law Office of Ross W. Albers today to schedule a free consultation. Maryland DUI Attorney Ross W. Albers is a former Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney, a member of the National College for DUI Defense, and a Maryland Super Lawyers Rising Star in Criminal Defense: DUI.
The Law Office of Ross W. Albers is located in Westminster, Maryland, and handles DUI cases throughout Maryland including: Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, and Washington County.