Please consult an attorney for advice about your individual situation. This site and its information is general in nature and NOT legal advice, nor is it intended to be. Feel free to get in touch either by letter, by phone call, or by using our contact us page. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Until an attorney-client relationship is established, please withhold from sending any confidential information to us.
Maryland Law Enforcement is always on the lookout for impaired or intoxicated drivers. They have been trained to watch for the telltale signs that a driver may be “under the influence”. Some of the signals of intoxicated drivers that they look for and the driving traits that you may get you stopped are
Inspection infractions are always a good excuse for law enforcement to stop a vehicle. Tail lights, brake lamps, headlamps, direction lamps or tag lights out, obvious exhaust or tire problems, damaged glass, etc. Always keep your car in good repair – don’t give them that excuse!
When you’re stopped, there are certain indications that the officer will be looking for in your appearance and manner. Traditional symptoms of intoxication taught at police academies are:
First, act appropriately. Be polite, don’t be combative or argumentative. Don’t act paranoid, don’t act sloppy, don’t act jovial or try to be overly friendly or humorous.
You are not required to answer any questions, (such as, “have you been drinking tonight?”) and may politely respond, “I think I’d rather speak with an attorney before answering any questions”. Bear in mind, however, that if you are stone cold sober, you will likely get to leave much sooner by being cooperative.
You also do NOT have to submit to any field sobriety tests (FSTs). It’s well known that many people have trouble with these tests when completely sober due to physical limitations or because they simply have problems with balance, especially elderly and/or overweight people. Refusal will raise suspicion, but by the time the officer requests the FSTs, (s)he has probably already deemed you impaired.
The breath test is a separate issue. You MAY refuse the breath test, but there are consequences to that decision. In Maryland, refusal to take a breath test will result in reprisals which are outlined on our Maryland MVA Advice of Rights page.
In Maryland, you MAY call an attorney for advice before submitting to a DWI or DUI breath or blood test, as long as such advice is timely. The law states that the test must be performed within two hours of apprehension. To take advantage of this legal right, call me at 410-641-2999 or after business hours at 443-783-2451. If you are stopped in the Ocean City or Salisbury Md areas, I can very likely be there well within the 2 hour time limit to act as your attorney.
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