Deciding whether to take a breathalyzer test is probably one of the most difficult decisions for someone who has been pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving. Because of tougher DUI laws in Maryland, refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test has its own set of penalties aside from a DUI conviction. As a driver, it is important for you to know and understand Maryland’s DUI laws, including the laws related to refusing a breathalyzer test. The Pinder Plotkin Legal Team fights to protect the legal rights of citizens, including drivers who have been charged with DUI or DWI.
If you have been charged with DUI or failing to submit to a breathalyzer, call 410-661-9440 for a free consultation with one of our Maryland DUI lawyers. Hiring an experienced attorney as soon as possible to defend a DUI can make a substantial difference in the outcome of your case.
Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Maryland
Drivers refuse to take a breathalyzer test for many reasons. Some drivers know they have been drinking and they do not want to give the prosecution any further evidence against them. Other drivers may refuse the breathalyzer test because they are concerned that the test will not be administered properly or that the test results will be flawed. It does not matter why you refused a breathalyzer test. The law is clear about the penalties that will be imposed upon a driver when he or she refuses to submit to a test after a DUI stop.
First, if you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, the police officer can take your driver’s license immediately. You are issued a temporary driver’s license and notified of your right to request an administrative hearing through the Maryland Vehicle Administration (MVA). You must request a hearing within 10 days to prevent your driving privileges from being suspended pending the hearing.
You only have 30 days from the date of the Order of Suspension to request an administrative hearing. The request for a hearing must adhere to strict requirements. Therefore, it is usually best to consult an experienced Maryland DUI attorney for assistance as soon as possible. If you do not request a hearing within 10 days, your license will be suspended on the 46th day after the Order of Suspension. For a first offense, your license is suspended for 270 days. A second or subsequent offense is a 2-year suspension of driving privileges.
Noah’s Law and Refusal to Submit to a Breathalyzer
Noah’s Law (The Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016) took effect in Maryland on October 1, 2016, and substantially changed the DUI laws within the state. Named after Police Officer Noah Leotta, who was struck and killed during a field stop by a drunk driver, the law includes a stiffer penalty for drivers who are convicted of DWI after refusing a breathalyzer test.
If you are convicted of DWI after you refused to take a breathalyzer test, you are required to participate in the State’s Ignition Interlock Program. The mandatory sentence if you refused to submit to the test is one year in the Ignition Interlock Program.
Is the Ignition Interlock Program The Best Choice If I Refused a Breathalyzer Test?
Because there are strict requirements associated with the Ignition Interlock Program, including the cost of installing and maintaining the device, it is in your best interest to consult with a Maryland DUI attorney to discuss all options and DUI defense strategies. The DUI/DWI lawyers of the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team have researched Noah’s Law and the changes to Maryland’s DUI/DWI laws.
We are prepared to investigate your arrest to ensure your legal rights were not violated. Our lawyers review your case, determine your options for resolving the matter, and discuss the pros and cons of each option with you so that you can make an informed decision about which option works best for you.
For some individuals, losing their license is not an option, even for 270 days. If you are unable to fight the case in front of the MVA successfully, the Ignition Interlock Program may be the best option. However, if you have access to public transportation and do not have a family to transport to various locations, a 9-month suspended license may be more cost-effective.
Before making a choice, we strongly urge you to meet with our Maryland DUI lawyers. There could be another option that may provide a better outcome in your case. Meeting with an attorney is the best way to learn about all legal options for dealing with a DUI or DWI arrest.
Call for Your Free Consultation with a Maryland DUI Attorney
Contact Pinder Plotkin LLC at 410-661-9440 to meet with a DUI defense attorney.
The information provided in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject. The information contained in this blog is also subject to change and should not be relied upon. Contact the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team for a FREE consultation.