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Maryland Drunk Driving, Drugged Driving & Driving while Impaired Advice

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.

What should I do if I’m stopped for suspicion of DUI or DWI in Md?

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

Reasons that the Police might stop you for suspicion of DUI or DWI

  • Wide turns. Impaired drivers often make wide turns, for ease of turning or just misjudgment
  • Abrupt, sudden, and/or illegal turns
  • Appearing to be drunk. Police may pull over a driver who is slouched to the side or who is hunched over the wheel
  • A near miss with another vehicle or an object
  • Weaving in your lane or weaving between lanes
  • Speeding or slow driving. Most officers in Maryland will give you leeway of 5-7 mph, above or below the speed limit, however any speed above the posted limit is grounds to stop a vehicle
  • Driving on a surface other than the designated road (shoulder, sidewalk or curb, adjoining property, etc.)
  • Stopping inappropriately. Stopping at a green light, or otherwise where a stop is not needed
  • Tailgating. A drunk driver may use the car in front as a guide and follow too closely
  • Driving on top of the lane marker or straddling center dividing line
  • Stopping short of or within an intersection
  • Inappropriate signaling. An impaired driver may drive with a flashing turn signal, may use the wrong turn signal, or may signal far ahead of the turn
  • Responding slowly to traffic signals or not responding at all
  • Aggressive driving (Burning rubber, squealing tires, sudden or screeching braking)
  • Driving without headlights
  • Driving with hazard lamps on

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!


OK, So what if I get stopped for suspicion of DUI or DWI?

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:

  • Your appearance
    • Ruddy or flushed face
    • Bloodshot, watery, glassy eyes
    • Odor of alcohol on breath or clothing
    • Slurred speech
    • General disheveled, unkempt appearance
  • Your coordination
    • Swaying, staggering, stumbling or falling while walking
    • Leaning on or holding onto the car for support
    • Fumbling for wallet, registration, license
  • Attitude
    • Failure to comprehend the officer’s questions and/or inability to follow direction
    • Disoriented, confused
    • Belligerent, confrontational, or otherwise inappropriate behavior
    • Overly emotional, distraught

What are my legal rights in Maryland if I am stopped; and how should I act?

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.


What about Field Sobriety and Breathalyzer tests?

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.


Your Ocean City, Md DWI and DUI Lawyer

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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Contact Information
  • Frank Benvenuto, P.A. Attorney at Law
  • 10031 Old Ocean City Boulevard
  • Suite 108
  • Berlin, MD 21811
  • Phone: 410-641-2999
  • After Hours Emergency: 443-783-2451
  • Fax: 410-641-0853

Serving Maryland's Lower Shore

Berlin Office
Berlin Map
  • Atlantic Business Center
  • 10031 Old Ocean City Boulevard
  • Suite 108
  • Berlin, MD 21811
  • Phone: 410-641-2999
Salisbury Office
Salisbury Map
  • 109 Camden Street
  • Salisbury, MD 21804/li>
  • Phone: 443-783-2451
Ocean City Office
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  • 12930 Center Drive
  • West Ocean City, MD 21842
  • Phone: 443-783-2451

Frank Benvenuto, P.A. Attorney at Law in Ocean City, Maryland, defends individual rights in Salisbury, Snow Hill and West Ocean City as well as other cities within Worcester County, Wicomico County, Somerset County, Dorchester County and Talbot County and other Eastern Shore communities.
Well versed in helping absentee clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and other areas.

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