When you have been drinking in Maryland, you may be less aware of what danger you pose on the road if you get behind the wheel. Once you see those flashing blue lights in your rear view mirror, you probably feel like you can “plead the fifth” and refuse to answer questions… or sobriety tests. However, Maryland implied consent laws prevent you from getting away with drunk driving by laying down some pretty strict consequences for refusing the breath test.
Refusing the breath or any blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test in Maryland can be considered probable cause for a DUI or DWI (the state has two drunk driving classifications). With probable cause, an officer can then arrest you under suspicion of a DUI or DWI, which can bring formal charges. On top of those drunk driving charges, you will also face penalties for violating the Maryland implied consent laws.
Maryland implied consent penalties include:
- First refusal of sobriety testing: 120-day license suspension.
- Second or subsequent refusal: 1-year license suspension
In many cases, you may be eligible for an ignition interlock device in order to reinstate your license after a DUI, DWI or implied consent suspension.
Legally, you do not have to be under arrest for an officer to request a BAC sample. You agreed to submit your BAC for testing whenever asked by a law enforcement officer on the day you applied for your license. When you refuse the test, before or after your drunk driving arrest, you are in violation of laws you agreed to follow, even if you received your license decades ago.
The implications of drunk driving are obvious, and with states cracking down on anyone who may seem a danger on the roads, there is no better time to remain sober behind the wheel. Having an impaired awareness of the danger you pose on the roads will not keep you out of trouble, no more than refusing a BAC test. Instead, refuse to drink and drive, and you will always end up at home, safe and sound.