If you’ve recently been charged with drunk driving, you might be searching for a top DWI lawyer Baltimore MD has to offer. The majority of drivers know that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, but not all drivers know the exact details of drunk driving laws.
At the Greenberg Law Offices, we understand that some drivers do not know all the details of drunk driving arrest procedures, especially when a driver has never been in this situation before. Implied consent laws are just one example of how drivers might make a poor decision during a DWI arrest without knowing it, and before they can talk to a DWI lawyer Baltimore MD trusts.
What Is Implied Consent?
Every state has an implied consent law that applies to anyone with a legal driver’s license. This law states that the driver automatically agrees to take a chemical BAC test if a police officer suspects the driver of being intoxicated. Drivers automatically “give consent” to take this test upon receiving their driver’s license.
The most common type of chemical test is a breathalyzer, as a DWI lawyer in Baltimore MD would likely explain. Other tests include blood draw tests and urine tests. A breathalyzer is the only chemical test that can be administered in the police station; others must take place in an adequate medical facility.
Drivers technically have the ability to refuse to take the test — but they are breaking the law by doing so. If you refuse to take a test to determine your blood alcohol or drug concentration, or take a test and fail it, the police officer will confiscate your driver’s license (Maryland drivers only), issue a paper temporary license and prepare a case for the Maryland MVA file. If you are a commercial driver’s license holder, the MVA will suspend your commercial driver’s license and may disqualify your driving privilege.
As a skilled DWI lawyer Baltimore MD can provide might explain, your Maryland driver’s license can be suspended before trial based upon the results of the chemical test or for the refusal to submit to a chemical test. Even if you are a non–resident of Maryland, you face the loss of your privilege to drive in this State before the trial of the case. It is extremely important that you contact a skilled DWI lawyer immediately to protect your ability to drive and remain out of jail as there are strict deadlines in which you must request an Administrative Hearing or enroll in the Interlock Program.
Important changes to Maryland’s drunk driving laws took effect on October 1, 2016, that include increased penalties and expansion of the Ignition Interlock Program. The Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016, Noah’s Law, mandates an ignition interlock device for convicted drivers. You are required to participate in the program for the following convictions:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- Driving While Impaired (DWI) while transporting a minor under the age of 16
- Homicide or life-threatening injury by motor vehicle while DUI or DWI
The length of time you are required to participate in the program:
- For the first incident is 6 months.
- For the second incident, it is 1 year.
- And for the third or a subsequent incident, it is 3 years.
If you receive a DWI after refusing to take a chemical test (the court shall require mandatory interlock) and you will be required to participate in the program for 1 year. If eligible, the drunk driver may immediately opt-in to Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program instead of serving the suspension period. An individual participating in the program can only operate motor vehicles that are equipped with an ignition interlock device.
How Can Implied Consent Affect a DWI Case?
Quite simply, it can hurt your case if you refused to take a chemical test upon being pulled over. The general reasoning here is that a driver who is not intoxicated would have no reason to refuse a chemical test. This isn’t always the case, but courts tend to rule more strictly, and apply harsher punishments, when a driver charged with DWI refused to take a chemical test.
The most immediate consequence of refusing to take a chemical test is an automatic license suspension. This occurs even if the driver is found not guilty of DWI, because the driver still technically broke the implied consent law.
Talk With a DWI Lawyer Baltimore MD Drivers Depend On
If you’ve been charged with DWI, you might be interested in talking with a Baltimore DWI lawyer. Not all DWI charges can be eliminated or dismissed, but a skilled lawyer may be able to lessen the penalties of a conviction. Drivers who refused to take a chemical test, in particular, might find that they are facing retributions that are very severe.
At the Greenberg Law Offices, we understand that good people can make poor decisions. One bad decision shouldn’t have to dictate your future opportunities, success, and happiness. If you need a DWI lawyer Baltimore MD drivers trust to provide legal counsel in your own DWI case, contact the Greenberg Law Offices today.