Should I take the Breathalyzer Test in Maryland?
The discussion below applies only to DUI and DWI arrests in Maryland on non-Federal property.
Experienced Towson and Centreville DUI/DWI lawyer William A. Stavros understands that being forced to decide whether to take or refuse the breathalyzer test is most often a very stressful one. Most drivers are nervous about being stopped by the police for any reason, but an accusation of driving under the influence of alcohol and facing a mandatory decision about providing a breath sample intensifies exponentially the anxiety level of many drivers. Put plainly, the law regarding the decision as to whether to take the DUI/DWI breath test is very complicated, and no “one size fits all” answer exists. Each driver's situation is different, and the best decision for each person will depend upon a careful application of the law to the very specific circumstances of each driver and the facts at hand.
Years of experience walking clients through the complexity of breathalyzer issues have made clear: outdated laws, mistakes and bad information lead many people to make bad decisions about whether to take a breathalyzer test when a police officer presents the forms and the machine. Legal advice that made good sense years ago before legal changes may be poor or destructive advice under new laws. DUI/DWI law changes often. But one trend seems to remain true: changes in the law almost always make the law more harsh and more complex on motorists facing these difficult decisions. It is almost impossible for a non-attorney to stay current and make good decisions without sound advice from an attorney.
An experienced DUI/DWI attorney knows how difficult it is to account for every possible scenario that may arise and that these decisions must be taken on a case by case basis. It depends on many variables and the interaction between these variables. The following are examples, but is by no means an exhaustive list of possible relevant considerations: What number do you suspect you might blow? What is the extent and nature of the other evidence against you? What is your need to continue driving? Is the ignition interlock a workable option for you? What is your driving record including DUI/DWI convictions and Probation Before Judgments dispositions? And these are only some of the considerations that may factor into what is the best decision for you.
The bottom line: no one size fits all answer exists. Free advice from well-meaning family, friends and acquaintances is likely to be worthless on the road and in the police station. The best advice is – of course - don't drink and drive. But if you have unfortunately made that mistake, or have been wrongly accused of drinking and driving, the best thing you can do after your arrest is to call an experienced DUI/DWI attorney as soon as possible. Time is of the essence.
If you would like to arrange a free legal consultation to discuss your situation, call William A. Stavros at (410) 825-3300. If you live on Maryland's Eastern Shore please call at (410) 739-0794.