The Maryland DUI laws can be complex, and for the average average person, utterly confusing. The truth is that most of us enjoy having a drink every now and then. That does not make you or me an irresponsible citizen. Too bad for us that the police officers on the roads do not care about all of that, and would stop at nothing to arrest you.
The other thing about getting booked for DUI is the fact that more often than not, you are not aware of your rights, as the officers do not even bother to read them out to you. The first thing after being pulled over and asked to step out of the car is to be asked to take the breathalyzer test. That’s how it goes, doesn’t it? No, but most people comply with this request thinking that it is the norm.
You have the right not to take any test before you speak to a lawyer. The officer, pressed to make an arrest, will conveniently not tell you this, and will shove the test in your face. Also, it is important to keep in mind that whatever you say will be admissible in a court of law, and it is vital not to answer any questions before speaking to a legal representative.
The Maryland DUI carries heavy fines, up to six months of jail time, and a loss of your driving license. Education is vital, and being assertive and standing up for your rights is a non-negotiable aspect, and under no circumstances should you let a police officer bully you just so that he can write you up.
The legal limit is .08, which translates to 2-3 drinks. Now, the thing about the Field Sobriety Tests is that they are not designed to be in your favor. A request that most people fail to make is to ask to take these tests again after being arrested. You can ask for another Field Sobriety Test as provided by the law. These are things that most of us ignore are not even aware of, since the information is not in the public domain. This only comes to light when you get arrested, and after being charged and taken to court for your hearing, and having to be defended by a lawyer, and winning or losing the case, depending on the abilities of your attorney.
One other thing that I would like to point out is that you need to be familiar with the Miranda Rights. The police are not required to read you these rights upon arrest, but this fact can be used in your favor. When you get pulled over, the natural reaction for most people is to tense up and panic. Police officers know this and use this opportunity to ask you whether you have been drinking. If you say no, and you have the slightest hint of alcohol in your breath, then you’re in trouble. At the same time, if you say yes, it’s as good as an admission of guilt. The right thing to do in this case would be to simply say that you have been advised not to answer that question at that time. This is the whole premise of the Miranda Rights, which afford you the right not to say anything lest it be used against you in a court of law.
Should you be interested in changing these laws so that no-one else has to suffer under the actions of police officers whose main interest is to arrest citizens that are innocent in the eyes of the law, then you might want to consider taking a criminal justice degree. This educational award will help you change the pervasive laws and come to the aid of your community. This can be taken online, at your local community college, or most four-year universities. If you feel the calling to make a lasting change in regards to the Maryland DUI laws, then this is the right path for you.
About the author:
Mitch Henderson is a freelance writer and independent researcher with a passion for helping people make the best decisions in life. He contributes regularly to Degree Jungle a resource for college-bound students.