You’re driving to your destination when you see those telltale blue and red lights flare up behind you. You’re being pulled over! The next thing you know, the officer is asking if you’ve had anything to drink and is requesting that you get out of your vehicle and walk heel-to-toe in a straight line. Field sobriety testing is nervewracking, inaccurate, and almost never in the driver’s best interest — so does Maryland law allow you to decline without penalty?
The Inaccuracy of Field Sobriety Test Results
Field sobriety tests can be affected by any number of things — a person’s balance, medical conditions, prescribed medications, and even something as simple as how well rested you are. Additionally, the results of the tests aren’t calculable — they’re based on the officer’s observations and are subjective. Unfortunately, many people fail these tests while perfectly sober.
Maryland and Implied Consent
Like all other states, Maryland has implied consent laws. This means that when you obtain a valid driver’s license, you give consent to chemical testing — either breath or blood — if requested by an officer. However, this law does not apply to field sobriety testing. You have the right to decline or refuse a field sobriety test without legal penalty.
How to Decline Field Sobriety Tests
How you decline to submit to a field sobriety test is important. Always be polite to officers of the law and let them know that you respectfully decline. Avoid being rude to the officer or having anything other than a courteous attitude. You may still aggravate a police officer by declining since many people don’t know that they have the right to, and you may still get arrested. However, it’s crucial to your overall defense that the officer’s body cam and dash cam show you being polite and civil to the officer who pulled you over.
Contact an Experienced Maryland DUI Lawyer Today
If you have indeed been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Maryland, it’s critical that you contact an experienced defense lawyer. If you did submit to field sobriety tests, you will need a seasoned DUI attorney who knows how to aggressively discredit the tests or the results obtained from them.
Contact the Avid Law Firm, LLC today for more information about how you can protect your rights under the law during a DUI traffic stop and after an arrest. Call now for a consultation at (240) 561-7433.