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Frequently Asked Questions About DUIs and Drunk Driving

As experienced defense attorneys, we receive a lot of questions about driving under the influence (DUI) and how individuals accused of this crime move through the justice system. The following are a few of the most common questions (and answers) we receive on the topic:

Q: How drunk does someone have to be to be convicted of a DUI?

Any amount of alcohol that causes someone to be impaired while driving is illegal. For most people, impairment sets in long before a person believes himself or herself to be drunk. The legal standard is .08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC), but if the BAC comes in lower and there is reason to believe the driver was impaired, that person could still be charged with DUI.

Q: Am I required to take a Breathalyzer test or another test if pulled over on suspicion of DUI?

You are allowed to refuse any test when pulled over on suspicion of DUI. However, Maryland has an implied consent law that states a refusal to take such a test can result in an automatic driver’s license suspension. Such a refusal could also reflect poorly on you if you end up facing full DUI charges.

Q: Are police allowed to question me before reading me my rights?

It depends on the situation. Law enforcement officers only have to read you your rights if you are being placed under arrest. If you are not placed under arrest, officers are allowed to ask any questions they want.

Q: Can I be forced to wait to be questioned at a DUI checkpoint?

DUI checkpoints are becoming more common as a preventive measure across the country, which means this issue has been becoming more common as well. Police officers are allowed to make you wait to be questioned, as long as it is done in a way to minimize the inconvenience faced by you and other drivers. However, they must be neutral with their tasks and are not allowed to single you out unless there is reasonable suspicion that you have broken the law.

If you have further questions about drunk driving law in Maryland, contact the trusted La Plata DUI defense attorneys at Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A.

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