Maryland Law could suspend non-drivers by refusing breathalyzer test

The Maryland top court made says the Motor Vehicle Administration can suspend the license of anyone who refuses to take a breathalyzer test, even if that individual was not in the driver’s seat. As Maryland law states, if you are the driver of the vehicle and you are pulled over and suspected of drunk driving, if the driver refuses to take a breathalyzer test, his license is immediately suspended. There are number of benefits of refusing to take a breathalyzer test, but that is for a blog for another day. However, the one fall back, is that if you are the driver and you refuse, then your license will be suspended.

The only way the police can arrest you in the state of Maryland for driving while intoxicated, is through probable cause. Having red eyes, slurred speech, and smelling of booze is not enough probable cause to arrest someone, but having a breathalyzer or a physical test, is enough. That is one of the biggest reasons people refuse to take the breathalyzer test, to avoid the arrest. However, the state of Maryland doesn’t want to make that easy on you, and will suspend your license immediately, and possibly punish you much harsher if you end up losing your DUI case.

drunk driving opening a bottle behind the steering wheel of a car

Now, Maryland is going to be able to suspend the license of those who are not in the passenger seat as well. The only stipulation is that the police officer will only test you and suspend your license if they have a strong belief that the passenger was the one who was driving the vehicle. No need to worry about having your license suspended if you are riding solely as a passenger. But please, as always, never drink and drive, and discourage others from doing so!

The state of Maryland is trying to halt drinking and driving through these new regulations, rightfully so. The punishments are greater if you try to avoid any tests when stopped for a DUI, so avoid these cases at all costs by making the smart choice and have a designated driver, or avoid drinking when you know you have to drive.

The Law Office of Nicholas J. Del Pizzo is here to help you if you are charged with a DUI, so feel free to give him a call at 410-288-5788.

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