(301) 762-7007  
200A Monroe Street, Suite 200, Rockville, Maryland 20850
divider

Drinking and Driving Offenses: DUI/DWI

separator

It is not illegal to drive a vehicle after drinking alcohol in Maryland – an arrest for drunk-driving, like DUI (driving under the influence), or DWI (driving while impaired), is based on how much alcohol or drugs the driver consumed and how impaired or intoxicated he or she appeared to the officer. Convictions, however, may hinge on whether the police officer did his or her job properly.

Drunk driving related offenses are serious criminal offenses in the State of Maryland. You need an experienced Maryland DUI defense and traffic lawyer. You need Marc Emden.

Several things can happen to you if you are arrested and charged with a drunk-driving related offense; you may face jail time and/or other forms of punishment, be fined, placed on probation, and suffer large increases in your car insurance premiums; Also, the MVA could suspend your license, which could inhibit your ability to support your family. Maryland drivers should be knowledgeable of their rights under the law and seek out a skilled Maryland DUI/ DWI defense attorney.

Maryland DUI attorney Marc Emden has decades of experience handling drunk driving cases in Rockville, Maryland and other counties in Maryland.  Marc Emden will attack the State’s drunk-driving case, from the moment the police stopped you, all the way through your arrest and blood alcohol content (BAC) testing, to make sure the police acted legally and treated you properly. Questions Mr. Emden will address with you include:

  • Were you illegally stopped?
  • Did the police conduct the field sobriety tests correctly?
  • Were you properly advised of your rights?
  • Was your arrest legal?
  • Was the equipment used by the police to test your blood alcohol content properly maintained and calibrated?
  • Were you denied your right to speak to an attorney?

As a Rockville, Maryland DUI attorney, Marc Emden has the experience to defend you, and the expertise to exploit mistakes that are very often made by the police – to your advantage.  Marc Emden knows how important your freedom and your privilege to drive are to you, and will effectively fight to insure these rights are not taken from you.

MARC EMDEN IS AVAILABLE 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK FOR YOUR CALL.

Contact us or call the office at (301) 762-7007 for a consultation.

Issues at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA)
In addition to facing possible fines, or jail, in court, you also be facing a suspension of your driving privileges at the MVA.  If there is a breath or blood test with a result of .08 or more, or the person is alleged to have refused the test, then the arresting officer probably took their driver’s license and issued a 45 day temporary driver’s license.  In this case, the first thing to do is to request a hearing with Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), located in Hunt Valley, Maryland,  WITHIN 10 DAYS OF ARREST.  Suspensions can range from 45 days to one year. Your hearing at the MVA is separate from your hearing or trial in court where could face fines, or incarceration.

Marc Emden can also be invaluable in helping you to develop defenses to these suspensions in many cases and can also assisting you in obtaining a work or education related privilege to drive.

Overview of Drunk Driving

Operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol and/or drugs can impair your judgment and ability to drive safely.  Criminal and civil penalties can often be harsh, and include:

  • Suspension or loss of license
  • Expensive fines
  • Substance-abuse treatment
  • Incarceration
  • Community service
  • Restitution
  • Permanent criminal record
  • Probationary license programs (ignition interlock devices or “Cinderella” license restrictions)

Additionally, the effect on your career and social stigma may have long term negative consequences.

The Use of Ignition Interlock Devices in Drunk-Driving Cases

Maryland law includes rules which permit judges at sentencing to order the installation of interlock devices as a penalty in drunk-driving cases. An ignition interlock is a device which is installed in a car and which measures the blood alcohol content of the driver, who must blow into the device before starting the car. If the blood alcohol content (BAC) is above a certain level, the car will not start.  Considering the potential burdens associated with this device, including the associated daily fees (amounting to about $60.00 per month), it is important to speak to an experienced DUI defense attorney if you are charged or arrested for a drinking and driving offense.

The Prosecutor’s Role in a Drunk-Driving Case

“Prosecution” refers to the government’s role in the criminal-justice system. When criminal activity is suspected, it is the government’s role to investigate charges and bring the alleged offender to trial. A prosecutor is a lawyer who works for the government and who is responsible for developing and presenting the government’s case against a criminal defendant. In Maryland, the prosecutor is called the State’s Attorney. The prosecutor is the opponent or “adversary” of the criminal defendant and his or her attorney; the two sides go head-to-head against each other in court.

Accuracy of Breath-Test Results in a Drunk-Driving Case

In Maryland, a driver with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher is presumed to be legally intoxicated for drunk-driving purposes. Maryland has also enacted an implied-consent law. Implied-consent laws provide that every licensed driver within the state is considered to have given his or her consent to chemical testing to determine his or her BAC whenever a law enforcement officer has reasonable suspicion of intoxication. In Maryland, one’s refusal to submit to such a test can result in the suspension or revocation of their driving privileges.

A Drunk-Driving Conviction Can Impact Your Auto Insurance

Remember, electronic record keeping enables most automobile insurance companies to retrieve records of your arrest or conviction for any drunk-driving offense. This could lead your insurance company to increase your insurance rates or even cancel your insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. The police did not read me my rights; will my case be dismissed?
A. Police are required to read you your “Miranda Rights” only if two requirements are met. You must first be in police custody and you must be interrogated (questioned) about the crime. If the police violated your rights, your statement could be suppressed and may not be admissible against you in a trial.

Q. The police said I blew a .07%. Why was I arrested and charged with DUI?
A. An arrest for DUI can made at any blood level. The decision to arrest is influenced by your performance of the field sobriety tests and the driving pattern you may have exhibited prior to the arrest. An officer can arrest you for simply being under the influence of alcohol or drugs without any reference to your blood alcohol level.

Q. Why do I have to go the MVA if I am charged with DUI?
A.  The MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration) controls your privileges to drive. The District Court of Maryland decides questions of guilt or innocence. If you are charged with DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) you must request a hearing within 10 days of your arrest to avoid an automatic suspension of your driving privileges.

Q. Why am I being charged with DUI if I did not drink but only smoked some marijuana?
A. DUI includes drugs as well as alcohol.

Q. How can I win an MVA hearing if my test results were over .08%?
A.  The MVA determines whether the police followed proper procedures in seizing your driving permit. This analysis can include whether police properly completed the paperwork they issued you at the time of your arrest.

Q. Shouldn’t I just plead guilty if my test results were .08%?
A. Absolutely not. The police may have committed many errors in the arrest process. These errors may include flaws in the testing process, violation of your constitutional rights, and even police fabrication.

Q. Should I refuse to take the chemical test?
A. In most cases no. Your refusal to take the test could result in the automatic suspension of your driving privileges for 180 days after a first offense. Your refusal can also result in other penalties at the MVA and in court.

Q. What will happen on my first court date and do I have to be there if I have a lawyer?
A. You need to be present at all court dates unless you are excused from attending by the Court. If your first court date is called an “Attorney or Preliminary Inquiry” date, then you can often avoid having to appear if your attorney files papers with the Court advising that you have retained an attorney.

Q. What is an ignition interlock device?
A. An ignition interlock device is a small gadget that is attached to your ignition system in your car. If you have been charged with a DUI the state may require its installation. To start your vehicle you must to blow into it. If your blood-alcohol content is over .02, your vehicle will not start. While driving, you must also blow into it every few minutes to prove that there is still alcohol is in your system. Known as a “rolling”or “running test”, this keeps a buddy from blowing into the device to enable the impaired driver to get behind the wheel and drive. If the device registers sufficient alcohol levels, the engine will shut off for longer and longer periods of time between tests.
Q. Does an ignition interlock device really reduce drunk driving?
A. Studies have shown that reduction is between 40 and 95 percent for offenders to be charged again.

Who orders installation of an ignition interlock device?
This device may be ordered by the court or the motor vehicle administration. Individuals may opt to have it installed to possibly lower their impending sentence. They may also be required to choose between keeping the device in the vehicle for a year, or face an extended license suspension.

Will medicine with an alcohol base or mouthwash trigger the device?
Because it is built to register any level of alcohol the ignition will shut off if the level amounts to 2% or more. If you are having the ignition interlock device installed, you are warned about this beforehand. Since these would be very low levels of alcohol, it would be best to ensure you take them long before you need to drive.

MARC EMDEN IS AVAILABLE 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK FOR YOUR CALL.

Contact us or call the office at (301) 762-7007 for a consultation.
Please note that these answers should not be construed as legal advice in all situations. You should speak with an attorney before making any decisions about your legal matter.  These answers are intended only to provide general information.