Being arrested for DUI is scary, and if it’s your first DUI charge, you may be panicked and unsure of what to do now. You are probably worried about your career, your reputation, your finances, and your family. A DUI can cost you your freedom, your job, the respect of those who know you, and it can do damage to your future. A DUI conviction may prevent you from keeping your current job, and it may certainly prevent you from getting future jobs. If you’re active in your community, at your children’s schools, and in your church, you may feel a DUI charge or conviction will diminish your worth in the eyes of those around you.
Everything you’re feeling is justified, as a DUI is a very serious offense. But a DUI charge does not have to ruin your life. The most important first step after being arrested for DUI in Maryland is to find a DUI attorney who has years of experience with Maryland DUI law and can put together the best defense for you.
Field Sobriety Tests and Breathalyzers
Most people are not familiar with Maryland’s complex DUI laws. Many first-time offenders make the huge mistake of taking field sobriety tests when they’re pulled over, and then submit to a Breathalyzer test at the police station.
Did you know that when you’re arrested for drunk driving in Maryland, you do not have to perform any field sobriety tests when requested to do so by the law enforcement officer who pulled you over?
You were probably asked to perform a preliminary breath test (PBT) when you were pulled over by police; this is not the same test as the formal Breathalyzer performed later at the police station. Maryland law requires that the police officer explain to you that there are no consequences for your refusal to take the PBT test and that the results of the PBT test are not admissible by the state of Maryland against you. If the result of the breath test was in your favor, however, a Maryland DUI attorney will use that information in court to help prove your innocence.
The validity of breathalyzer tests are a frequent issue in DUI cases. A breathalyzer is supposed to work properly when the machine has been fully tested and calibrated. Another factor in determining the efficacy of breathalyzer results is operator training. The operator is supposed to have been fully trained on how to use it. Yet many machine “technicians” often have little or no knowledge on how the breathalyzer is supposed to work.
So if you have already blown and got charged with DUI, an experienced Maryland DUI defense lawyer may be able to undo the damage you’ve done. The error rate on breathalyzer machines is pretty high, and once your attorney has all of the evidence against you, a case to defend you will be built.
A detailed, comprehensive, understanding of intricate Maryland DUI law is crucial to your defense. If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges, including DUI, in Waldorf or Charles County, Maryland, do not wait until it’s too late. Please call Alison Mason Heurich, Esq., at 240-346-4883 or email her today.