Your driving down the street and see this sign on the side of the road reminding you not to drink to excess and drive or you will be arrested for DUI in Maryland. The signs are everywhere, on the beltway, in front of the police stations (like this one which I snagged) even on the radio and television. Being the responsible member of the community you are, you decide you will not drink to excess and drive, you will stay away from that all telling .08. You will limit your big night out to two drinks and you will be well under the legal limit and all will be well.
On your drive home however, you are stopped by deputy DUI enforcer because your license plate light is burnt out and the next thing you know, you are being arrested for DUI, all you remember hearing is your field tests were not good because it was 25 degrees outside and their were tornado like winds blowing. You think to yourself, well I only had two drinks so what is the problem? Heck, I only blew a .05 well within the legal limit so why am I at the police station with handcuffs on? Well, unfortunately, the Maryland State legislature and your local police department forgot to tell you one itty bitty little important fact and here it is right from the Maryland State Trooper’s mouth:
In other words, what this Trooper is trying to tell you is the cops can pull you over for anything at all, like a burnt out tag light or a momentary crossing of the white shoulder line and then arrest you for DUI/DWI. At the police station if you blow as low as a .03 or .04 they can and will charge you with DUI/DWI and you will be forced to secure a qualified DUI lawyer to defend yourself in Court. All that would be alright if the police and the law markers would take the time to explain to the motoring public what the actual state of the law is so a Maryland driver can at least make an informed decision before getting behind the wheel.
The actual state of the law is that you can and will be arrested for any number at all. Once you tell the cop you have been drinking, he will automatically, pavlovian style, get you out of the car and ask you to do fields; even if there are tornado like winds or its 25 degrees outside he will ask. You are, and should say no, but most people do them anyway. Mistake.
Anyhow, once you are comfortably seated in the cop’s cruiser it’s off to the police station for a quick little blow test wherein it really does not matter what you blow. Basically anything over .04 give or take a degree, and you will be charged with the alcohol offense of DWI. As the good Trooper indicated herein, the cops consider you “impaired” at any number and therefore they get “the arrest” “the collar” and the arrest credit. Did I say quota? No, I didn’t say quota, but I did say watch out, you have been warned. The real alcohol limit in Maryland is .00 and maybe, just maybe, you are safe, anything above that and you do have exposure for the DUI/DWI arrest. By the way, if you do blow a .00 and Deputy DUI enforcer still things you are impaired, they can hoist you off to the local hospital for an insurance free drug exam by way of blood test administered by nurse ratched. You can deny that as well (barring any serious accident) but there will be MVA penalties for that refusal.
Merry Christmas and happy New Year. Please drive safely.