If Maryland authorities believe that you’re driving under the influence of alcohol, you may be asked to take a Breathalyzer or other sobriety tests. Although you have the right to refuse such a request, you may face a variety of penalties for doing so.
Refusing a chemical test violates implied consent laws
When you obtained your license, you agreed to submit to a blood, urine or Breathalyzer test if asked to do so. If you fail to comply with such a request, your license will be automatically suspended, but it may be possible to obtain limited driving privileges while awaiting an administrative hearing. You may also be able to regain driving privileges prior to the end of a suspension arising from a violation of implied consent laws by participating in an ignition interlock device program.
The potential impact of refusing a chemical test
The other facts in your case will determine whether failing to take a chemical test will help or hurt your ability to mount an effective defense against a DUI charge. In many cases, authorities will be granted a warrant to obtain a sample of your blood. Therefore, a prosecutor may have the evidence needed to get a conviction even if you refuse to provide it voluntarily. Other factors such as your demeanor during a traffic stop may also make it easier for the state to prove that you violated the law.
If you are convicted of DUI, you could spend time in jail, pay a fine or have your license suspended. For a second or subsequent offense, you may be sent to state prison or have your license revoked. These sanctions may be in addition to those imposed for violating implied consent laws.