.05 under the limit, under arrest
In my last blog post I indicated that we had another .05 BAC DUI case pending in the District Court. While not totally unusual, it is unfortunate. People are often times surprised to learn that they can be and probably will be, arrested and charged with DUI if they blow a .05.
You see, the Government has a slogan, "over the limit under arrest"; it is well known that the legal limit in this Country is .08. The problem, as I have previously written, is that this information is misleading. In fact, you can be charged with DUI for ANY number that the investigating officer (I/O) feels like arresting. Ie., he can arrest any person that he feels may help his arrest numbers at the end of the month, even if the driver's BAC is .04 or .05 (half the legal limit). Mind you that the Maryland State Law is written that a .05 BAC or lower yields a presumption that the person is NOT intoxicated. But have no fear, if you catch an officer on a bad day or possibly without enough arrests for the month, you're going in.
So getting back to the case.....
We call the prosecutor in the case to see if a sensible resolution can be reached, a seasoned Government litigator who hates to let anything go and he says he's moving forward with the case. Yes of course he is. He drags us all into Court on the trial day and there appears to be some dissension in the ranks with the arresting officer and the State. That is to say, the officer may have even lost some interest in the case. The prosecutor however doesn't care and the case is moving forward to trial that day.
We sit in Court all morning ready to do battle and to prove that the Government and police should follow the laws of this State and stop harassing law abiding citizens. As we approach go time, the State has a change of heart and decides to drop the DUI on the .05. Wow, we go the result that never should have happened in the first place, although it is very important to be willing to FIGHT these matters in trial as many DUI lawyers are not willing to do so, which is always bad for the client. Thus when searching for a DUI lawyer you must be positive that you have a lawyer that is willing to go the whole nine yards for you and not just punt. You can see how punting works out just look at this years Ravens AFC Championship game against the Patriots, ugh@#$%... but I digress.
My position remains that while the law is supposed to be clear on the limit for a DUI arrest, it is not clear, it is subjective with the officer; subjective with an arresting officer is always a bad idea. It would be better to have a .00 limit to drive, at least the driving public would know where they stand on this issue and could therefore make an informed decision regarding their own behavior.