Vehicle Searches During Salisbury DUI Stops
After being pulled over and suspected of DUI at a DUI stop, the driver should anticipate that the officer will want to search the vehicle to look for any sort of evidence that confirms his or her suspicion that the driver has consumed alcoholic beverages.
Therefore, the officer will want to look in to the vehicle and will be looking for empty alcohol containers or alcoholic containers maybe that have been opened and partially consumed. It’s very, very damaging testimony in a DUI trial for a police officer to be able to testify that he searched the vehicle and found multiple empty cans or bottles of alcohol. So, that is exactly why police officers want to try and get in to and search the driver’s vehicle.
However in addition to containers of alcohol, officers are looking for anything else illegal that may lead to additional charges. If the officer can find illegal drugs, or an illegal weapon, then the officer can also file a criminal charge against the driver.
Consent During Vehicle Searches
A driver does not have to consent to a search of his or her vehicle during a traffic stop. There is no benefit whatsoever to a driver in allowing or consenting to a search of your car. So, if a driver is asked for consent to search the vehicle, the driver has the absolute right to say, “No. I am not giving you consent to search my car.”
Asking to Speak a Lawyer During DUI Stop
You absolutely have the right to ask to speak to a lawyer. A lawyer can advise a driver about very important decisions like whether or not to agree to take a breath test. An experienced attorney will know the right kinds of questions to ask a driver in order to get the necessary information that will help the attorney advise the driver about whether or not to take the test. You can ask to speak to a lawyer during a DUI lawyer and you absolutely should ask to speak to an attorney during the DUI stop.
What Are The Biggest Mistakes To Avoid in DUI Stops?
One of the biggest mistakes is not consulting with an attorney before taking the breath test. The case law in Maryland makes it clear that a driver has a right to consult with an attorney before making the decision to take the breath test as long as that consultation or the attempt to get in contact with the attorney does not substantially interfere with the timely and effective administration of that test.
The Maryland statutes require that the breath test must be administered no later than 2 hours after the driver’s apprehension. But as long as getting in touch with the attorney or communicating with the attorney does not interfere with that 2-hour window, the driver has the absolute right to consult with the attorney.
If the defendant has requested a counsel and if that request had been denied, if the driver were to submit to a breath test, those test results can be suppressed due to the violation of the defendant’s right to counsel.
But there are many factors that a driver needs to consider before deciding whether or not to take the test. This is because refusing to take the test can have significant consequences for the driver’s license and his ability to continue to drive.
If the driver takes the breath test and it is of a certain result, that test result can be used against the driver in court. And depending on how high the result is, it also can have significant implications at the Motor Vehicle Administration.
An attorney can explain to the driver all of the consequences of either taking the test or refusing to take the test. And an attorney can ask questions of the driver and hopefully be able to get a sense of what that breath test result might be if the driver took it.