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DUI injury case provides chance to remind accused MD drivers of rights

Thousands of Maryland drivers face DUI arrests each year, and these drivers are not without rights.
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    December 18, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Driving under the influence is a mistake that is taken seriously in every state, including Maryland. Educational efforts and legal penalties both seem to be influencing Maryland drivers considerably; the Century Council reports that the incidence of DUI fatalities in the state has decreased about 25 percent over the last decade.

Still, thousands of Maryland drivers face DUI arrests each year, and these drivers are not without rights. An ongoing case involving a Baltimore man who allegedly injured another driver serves as an opportunity to remind people accused of DUI of their options.

Accused man refused Breathalyzer

The case involves a man who was allegedly driving under the influence when he was involved in a head-on collision. The man in the other vehicle suffered serious injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, according to Baltimore's WBAL TV.

The man who was charged with DUI refused to take a Breathalyzer test at the scene. As a result, his license was suspended for four months. Although his refusal to take the test can legally be used during trial, prosecutors now lack the compelling evidence that a blood-alcohol test could have provided, according to WBAL TV.

The injury that resulted from this particular accident may be uncommon, but the response of the accused man is less unusual. WBAL TV reported that, between 2008 and 2011, more than 6,000 of the 22,000 people arrested for DUI in Maryland declined to take a Breathalyzer test.

Considering this, it is important for Maryland drivers being accused of DUI to have a basic knowledge of their rights and the punishments that they may face. Of course, drivers who find themselves in this position should always consult with an attorney to fully understand their options.

Maryland DUI rights and penalties

Maryland has an implied consent law, which means that in return for holding a license, drivers consent to chemical testing to detect the presence of alcohol. Drivers cannot be physically forced to take chemical tests, however. They have the option of refusing and facing a four-month license suspension, as the driver on trial did, according to WBAL TV.

The penalties for proven DUI in Maryland can be much higher than the penalties for refusing the test. They include the following:
- License suspension.
- Jail time.
- Installation of an ignition interlock device.
- Fines as well as costs associated with the interlock device.

Drivers who refuse chemical testing may avoid some of these consequences. The man accused of DUI in the ongoing trial may benefit from his refusal because prosecutors lack hard evidence. However, drivers should understand that refusing blood-alcohol tests is not necessarily the best choice for every situation. It is important for drivers who have been arrested for DUI to speak with an attorney about possible courses of action.

Anyone who has been pulled over for DUI in Maryland should speak with a DUI lawyer about rights and options as soon as possible.

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