Your Rights At a Wicomico County DUI Stop
If pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence in Wicomico County, you have certain rights that may not be violated according to Maryland and Constitutional law. Below a Wicomico County DUI lawyer discusses these rights and how they can have an impact on your case. To learn more or discuss a violation of your rights, call and schedule a free consultation today.
Can You Refuse Field Sobriety Tests or Roadside Preliminary Breath Tests At The Scene?
Yes, if a law enforcement officer asks you to take a field sobriety test or a preliminary roadside breath test you have the legal right in the state of Maryland to refuse.
Can You Refuse a BAC Test?
A driver has a right to refuse to take a BAC test, however it is important for a driver to realize that there are significant consequences for refusing to take the breath test.
By receiving a license issued by Maryland, the person has agreed that if they have been stopped or detained by a police officer and that police officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then the person is expected to agree to take the breath test.So, if the person refuses to take the test, then there are going to be consequences at the MVA.
Penalties For Refusing a BAC Test in Maryland
If the driver refuses to take the breath test, then their privilege to drive is going to be suspended in the state of Maryland for a hundred and twenty days if it is their first offense and it is their first time refusing to take the test. However, if this is the second or a subsequent offense and the driver refuses to take the test, then the privilege to drive is going to be suspended for one year.
Also, if the driver holds a commercial driver’s license and they refuse to take the breath test, the CDL privilege will be taken away for a year. This is true even if they are driving a non-commercial motor vehicle at the time that they are stopped. So there are very significant consequences to a driver especially a driver who holds a CDL if they refuse to take the breath test.
Do You Need To Consent To a Search Of Your Vehicle?
No. You absolutely have the right to refuse if an officer ask for permission to search your car. That does not necessarily mean that the police officer will not search the car. The police officer may still search the car, but he will have to have a justifiable reason in doing so. That decision of the police officer to search the car can be challenged later in court and if the officer did not have a justifiable reason in searching the car, then potentially any evidence that the officer seized in the search can be excluded.
Additionally, it does not matter if the driver has been stopped for some other type of traffic stop or if the driver has been stopped on the basis of the DUI. Regardless of the basis for the stop, the driver does not have to consent to a search of the vehicle. The officer may find a different reason to be able to search the car, but it does not have to be based on the driver consenting to a search.