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DUI/DWI

Unlike other criminal offenses, the arrest for driving under the influence is time-sensitive and requires immediate action.

Preliminary Breath Test:

A driver has a right of counsel, on request, before deciding whether to submit to a chemical sobriety test.   The due process clause of the fourteenth Amendment, as well as Article 24 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights, requires that a person under detention for drunk driving must, ,on request, be permitted a reasonable opportunity to communicate with counsel before submitting to a chemical sobriety test, as long as the attempt to communicate with an attorney will not substantially interfere with the timely and efficacious administration of the testing process.

The preliminary breath test is used to screen drivers whom officers reasonably believe of being intoxicated.   It is a type of a pre-arrest device which also assist officers to exonerate innocent drivers whose psychological or motor skills or behavior and reflexes are slowed or somewhat impaired by the intake of medication or other medication conditions. This test is given if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that alcohol is involved in the case.   This test is given before an individual is arrested.

Field Sobriety Test:

Field sobriety tests in Maryland are designed to reveal objective information about a driver’s coordination. There are no The field sobriety test must be conducted in a proper manner in order to have a reliable test. These tests include person’s eyes jerk as they follow an objection moving form one side of the person’s flied of vision to the other. The test is premised on that an intoxicated person jerking occurs after fewer degrees of turning, and the jerking at more extreme angles becomes more distinct. On the other hand, walk and turn test requires the driver to walk heel-to-toe along a straight line for nine paces, pivot, and then walk back heel-to-toe along the line for another nine paces. This test has been modified for greater reliability; and now the driver must do two things at once: balance and listen. Another common technique used by the officers is “one leg stand” test requires the subject to stand on one leg with the other leg extended in the air for 30 seconds, while counting aloud from one to thirty. This is generally not an acceptable type of test, because even sober individuals are not able to coordinate one leg in the air while standing on the other.

However, any field sobriety testing, these tests should be given outsie the vehicle in an areas that is well lighted, suitable for standing and walking, and safe from traffic.   Many times, police officers fail to inform the driver that he or she is administering a set of test to determine if he or she is under the influence of alcohol.

Punishments:

If you have been previously convicted of driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle while intoxicated, or driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence the Administration may suspend your license for not more than 120-days within a 3-year period. Driving Under the Influence (“DUI”) is not the same as Driving While Impaired (“DWI”). If you are charged with DUI or DWI, it can result in both criminal and administrative penalties, including jail time and/or license suspension of six (6) months for either of these charges. If you are legally intoxicated, meaning that if the breathalyzer test or intoximeter shows your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 or more, you are considered legally intoxicated, and MVA can impose the following penalties: (1) A 45-day license suspension for the first offense; (2) a 90-day suspension for s subsequent offense, or; (3) total loss of driving privileges. MVA action can be taken regardless whether you have been found guilty of DUI or DWI.

Defenses:

Lesser Included Offense: If a person is charged with a violation of reckless and negligent driving; driving while under the influence of alcohol; while under the influence of alcohol per se; while impaired by alcohol; or while impaired by a drug; a combination of drugs; the court may find the person guilty of any lesser included offense under any subsection of the respective section.

For the Prosecutor to prove you are guilty of a DUI your BAC must be at least 0.08%, and a DWI requires a BAC ­­­between 0.04% to 0.07%.   The Officer’s judgment also plays a major factor during the field sobriety test. Because field sobriety tests are psycho-moto in nature, it becomes necessary to determine whether a police officer properly issued instructions and whether the officer tallied the scores correctly. On many occasions, the Officer simply forgets or fails to inform drivers prior to taking the breath sample that you have a right to speak with an attorney before giving any breath or blood test. And by doing so, the officers violate drivers constitutional right to communicate with counsel before deciding whether to submit to the State’s sobriety test.

If defendant is represented by legal counsel, the defense attorney can negotiate a plea deal involving favorable terms, and in some circumstances obtain dismissal of charges. If your license is confiscated by the Officer at the time of arrest, you only have 10 days from the day of your arrest to submit a request to the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings to be granted temporary driving privileges. Should you fail to properly make the request for the Motor Vehicle Hearing, your driving privileges may be suspended until you go to trial.

Action Required:

The experience of facing jail, losing your license, and having to appear before two types of judges is overwhelming. You do not have to do it alone. Your attorney can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your arrest including sobriety testing and blood alcohol concentration chemical testing. Your attorney will aggressively challenge your arrest and any evidence obtained. You can depend on your attorney to guide you through the complexities of the legal system while he or she will obtain the most favorable result for your case. We zealously work to resolve disputes in our client’s favor through assertive negotiations with the Prosecutor or aggressive trial litigation. When facing the uncertainties of our complex legal system, the Law Offices of Hass Bashir will provide you a personalized and client-centered approach with cost-effective legal representation. Learn more about how our firm can provide you the legal services you need at this time by visiting our website at Hass Law or contact us at (240) 688-1388 for a legal consultation and discuss Maryland DUI costs.