DUI or DWI? Is There a Difference in Maryland?

Does Maryland Make a Legal Distinction between Driving While Impaired (DWI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI)?

DUI or DWI? Is There a Difference in Maryland?When you’re pulled over by police in Maryland, there’s a good chance they’ll ask you if you’ve had anything to drink. They also may ask you to submit to a field sobriety test or take a breathalyzer test to estimate your blood alcohol content (BAC). You can refuse the field sobriety test with no legal penalty, but if you refuse the breathalyzer, there are potential consequences, including loss of driving privileges.

Based on the findings of the breathalyzer test and observations of the police officer, three things might happen:

  • You blow under the legal limit of .08% BAC, and the officer concludes you are not impaired and lets you go;
  • You blow over the legal limit of .08% BAC, causing you to be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI); or
  • You blow under .08% but over .07% and are charged with driving while impaired.

If you are underaged, the legal limit goes down to .02%. Commercial truck drivers also have a lower permissible blood alcohol content—.04%.

Experienced Maryland DUI/DWI Defense Attorney

Jonathan Scott Smith, a longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, has aggressively protected the constitutional rights of criminal defendants in the greater Baltimore area and across Maryland for more than 30 years. Consistently AV-rated by other attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System, Jonathan has also been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. He’s earned AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with the highest rating possible (5 stars), as well as a 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Jonathan understands the consequences of a DUI/DWI conviction, and works hard to ensure that police followed all required procedures. He will verify that there was probable cause for the traffic stop and that you were properly notified of your Miranda rights if taken into custody. He will carefully gather all relevant evidence and visit the scene of the incident, if necessary. He’ll also use his extensive trial experience to protect your rights in court.

Proven DWI/DUI Attorney in Baltimore County and the Surrounding Communities

To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your options after a DWI/DUI arrest, contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith online or call 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. Attorney Smith handles DWI and DUI cases throughout Baltimore and the surrounding area, including Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County.

Field Sobriety Tests in Maryland

The Different Tests | Are They Accurate?

Field Sobriety Tests in MarylandIt’s common practice for law enforcement officers in Maryland to request that a motorist take a “field sobriety test” if there’s suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI). Those tests can take a number of different forms:

  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus—With this test, the officer holds an object in front of your eyes and moves it back and forth, looking for a “jerking” movement in your eyes, which is considered an indication of alcohol intoxication.
  • The one-leg stand—This assessment involves standing on one foot for up to 30 seconds. Officers look for problems with balance, as well as difficulty counting.
  • The walk-and-turn test—This is the “heel-to-toe” test, where you must put one foot in front of the other, walk in a specific direction, and then change directions.

The Reliability of Field Sobriety Tests

In testing conducted by the Southern California Research Institute in the 1970s, the accuracy of field sobriety tests was mixed. The report found that almost one of every four horizontal gaze nystagmus tests was inaccurate and that the other two tests were accurate about 2/3 of the time.

Proven Maryland Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland SuperLawyer, has more than three decades of experience fighting for the rights of men and women facing criminal charges throughout Maryland. AV-rated by his colleagues under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System, attorney Scott Smith has also received the Client’s Choice Award, with the highest rating possible (5 stars). He’s been given a 10.0 (Superb) rating as a trial attorney and named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Attorney Smith has extensive experience handling all matters related to drunk driving. He knows from experience that police officers often violate constitutional rights, stopping drivers without probable cause or failing to give Miranda warnings before arrest. He’ll carefully review police reports and question witnesses to confirm that your constitutional rights were not violated.

Proven Drunk Driving Attorney in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area

To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your options after a DWI/DUI arrest, contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith online or call 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. Attorney Smith handles DWI and DUI cases throughout the Baltimore and the surrounding area, including Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County.

Do You Have to Submit to a Field Sobriety Test in Maryland?

What Happens If You Refuse?

Do You Have to Submit to a Field Sobriety Test in Maryland?Customarily, when you’re been pulled over in Maryland on suspicion of drinking and driving, the police officer will ask you to take a “field sobriety test” where you have to walk heel-to-toe or stand on one leg. Contrary to popular belief, though, there is no legal requirement that you submit to these tests, and the officer cannot compel you to do so.

Furthermore, there’s no criminal penalty for refusing to take a field sobriety test, and choosing not to participate in such a test will not have any impact on your driving privileges. Field sobriety tests are voluntary and can always be refused. Field sobriety tests are notoriously unreliable; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published training manuals stating that one of every three tests may be wrong.

Police officers may also ask you to submit to a preliminary breath test before detaining you. This test is also voluntary. If you are taken to the police station, though, Maryland’s implied consent rules go into effect. If you refuse a breath or blood test at the police station, you can lose your driving privileges.

Proven Maryland Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith, a longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, has fought for the rights of criminal defendants throughout Maryland for more than three decades.He has consistently been AV-rated by other attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and was named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. AVVO has given him the Client’s Choice Award, with the highest rating possible (5 stars), as well as a 10.0 (Superb) rating as a trial attorney.

Attorney Smith understands the impact of a conviction for drinking and driving and will work hard to protect your constitutional rights. He will carefully gather and preserve evidence in support of your acquittal. He’ll review police reports and question witnesses to ensure that law enforcement officers had probable cause to make the traffic stop and that they properly advised you of your rights.

Results-Oriented DWI/DUI Attorney in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area

To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your options after a DWI/DUI arrest, contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith online or call 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. Attorney Smith handles DWI and DUI cases throughout Baltimore and the surrounding area, including Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County.

Can You Refuse to Take a Breath Test in Maryland?

What Are the Consequences Under Maryland’s Implied Consent Law?

Breath Test Often, when you’re pulled over by law enforcement officers (regardless of the reason), one of the first questions the officer asks is “have you been drinking?” If you answer affirmatively, the officer may then ask you to submit to a breath test to determine whether your blood alcohol content exceeds the permissible legal level. Must you take the test? If not, what potential penalties can you face for refusing?

Under Maryland’s “implied consent” law, when you drive on the state’s roads, or apply for a driver’s license, you agree to take a blood alcohol content (BAC) test when requested by a police officer. However, except in situations where you are involved in an accident that causes injury or death, you may always refuse to take the test.

There are consequences to refusing to submit to a BAC test. Your license will be immediately suspended for a period of 270 days. You may not drive at all during the suspension, unless you appear at a hearing before the Motor Vehicle Administration, where you typically must to agree to have an ignition interlock system installed on your vehicle.

Aggressive Baltimore County DWI/DUI Defense Attorney

A longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has provided strong legal counsel to criminal defendants throughout Maryland for more than 35 years. His skill, experience and knowledge have consistently led him to be AV-rated by other attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. The American Lawyer magazine has honored him as a “Top-Rated Lawyer.” AVVO has awarded him the Client’s Choice Award, with the highest rating possible (5 stars), as well as a 10.0 (Superb) rating as a trial attorney.

Attorney Smith tenaciously advocates for men and women facing any type of criminal prosecution, including driving while impaired or driving under the influence.He knows how to effectively gather and preserve evidence to support your acquittal and will always conduct a thorough investigation to confirm that law enforcement officers did not violate your constitutional rights.

Proven Maryland Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer

To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your options after an arrest for drinking and driving, contact Jonathan Scott Smith online or call 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. Attorney Smith handles DWI and DUI cases throughout Baltimore and the surrounding area, including Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County.

ADDRESS :

  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101