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What to Expect At a DUI Stop in Wicomico County?

The following is taken from an interview with a Wicomico County DUI lawyer as they discuss what you should expect if pulled over and suspected of driving while under the influence. To being building your defense or to learn more about DUI stops, call and schedule a free consultation today.

First Things To Expect if Pulled Over at a DUI Stop

The first thing a driver can expect at a DUI stop in Wicomico County is for law enforcement officials to immediately begin investigating to determine if the driver is operating the vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. That begins with the officer approaching the side window and listening to what the driver says and how he says it. The officer is listening for any slurred speech or any sort of any confusion that the driver seems to be dealing with.

The officer is also observing the physical attributes of the driver what do the driver’s eyes look like,  does the driver appear to have bloodshot or glassy eyes?  Is there an odor of alcohol or beverage coming from the car? These are all things that the officer is looking for the second that he begins to interact with the driver.

What Will Police Do If They Suspect Someone To be Under the Influence?

If the officer believes that the person may be under the influence of alcohol or some other substance, then the driver can expect that the officer is going to ask the driver to get out of the vehicle and the officer is then going to ask the driver to submit to some standardized field sobriety test. And depending on how the driver performs on the field sobriety test, the officer may then ask the driver to perform a preliminary breath test.

A preliminary breath test is done on the side of the road using a small piece of equipment that the officer carries in his  patrol car. The results of that test are not admissible in court because that device is not considered to be that scientifically valid, but it is a tool that an officer can use that will either confirm or dispel the officer’s suspicions of if the driver is under the influence of anything.

Taking a DUI Breath Test in Maryland

After gathering all of that information, the officer at that point will make the determination as to whether or not to arrest the individual for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or a combination of both. At that point, the officer will advise the driver of the driver’s right to take a breath test and the officer is required to read the form that explains to the driver the right to take the test, the right to refuse the test, and also explains what the consequences are if the driver chooses to refuse to take the test. The form also explains the consequences depending on what the breath test result might be because there are varying consequences for different breath test results.

The driver then will have to make a determination of whether or not to take the breath test. The driver has the right to refuse the test and if the driver does, then the officer will more than likely just take him or her back to  their headquarters, do some paperwork, and more than likely will release the driver to a sober driver who comes and picks him up from the police department. The officer does have the discretion though to arrest the person and book them and take them to the Public Safety Complex and have them potentially have to post a bond.

If The Person Chooses To Take The Breath Test

The same process is true if the person chooses to take the breath test, they would be transported in Wicomico County to the Maryland State Police barracks. That is the only location in Wicomico County that has a certified breath test machine. They would take the test and then the officer could complete the paperwork and again could release the driver to a sober driver or potentially the officer could choose to have the person transported to the Public Safety Complex and have to go to central booking, goes through the booking process and then potentially have to pay a bond in order to be released.