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Can a passenger be arrested for DUI in Maryland

As a passenger in a drunk driving arrest, can you be arrested for DUI in Maryland? In a word, not really. You would have to do something wrong or illegal in order to be arrested; just ask Reese Witherspoon, the actor that was recently arrested. So for example, the lovely Mrs. Witherspoon was recently arrested because she violated rule number one with the cops, she could not keep her big mouth shut!

You see, on the street, the cops are in control; so if you don’t desire to spend the night in jail, you have to do what they tell you to do. Sometimes the cops don’t know what the heck is going on, or where their authority ends and the law picks up so they may “order” you to do weird and stupid things, like put your cell phone away and stop recording their aggressive and unfriendly behavior. (They don’t like to be the star of Channel 11 news), but the law is you are allowed to record video of the cops (audio is a different story- one may have to be careful there). Anyway, on the street the cops have the perceived authority so it is best to follow instructions or at least to get out of the way of what they are trying to do. If you stick your nose in their business, you will undoubtedly be arrested for getting in the way or disrupting the public or obstruction of justice or interfering with police business etc.

All these scenarios have to do with one’s own failure to follow “lawful” directions or “orders” of the police. Even if a cop gives you an “unlawful” order on the street, it is probably best to go along with things if your primary desire is to sleep at home that night. If your primary desire is to exercise your Constitutional Rights, that is a different story.

Having said that, the cops street authority ends on the street. Once you retain qualified defense counsel, and you get into court, the civilized law of society takes over and the cops have to answer for the crap that some of them do on the street. The courtroom IS the place for your fight, not the street. You lose on the street every time and the worse things get on the street, the worse you generally look in court. Conversely, if you bring your fight into the daylight of the court room, you can win and effectuate justice.

In summary, if you are a passenger in a car in a DUI or drunk driving arrest, you will not be arrested for that fact alone. If you pull a Reese Witherspoon and start running your mouth, or otherwise give Baltimore’s finest some other reason to arrest you, like maybe possession of drugs for example or any other illegal activity, then you will be arrested. In the absence of any trouble from the passenger, you will not be detained by the police and you will be free to leave.