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Baltimore Criminal Law Blog

Can you be arrested only for failing a sobriety test?

After you get pulled over, the police make you run through a series of field sobriety tests. These could include the walk-and-turn (WAT), the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) and the one-leg stand (OLS).

You fail the one-leg stand and the walk-and-turn. You argue that you are sober, and you tripped on a rock on the shoulder of the road. It's dark out, after all. It's also 2 in the morning, and you're just tired.

Suspected DUI driver hits car while speeding from police

Montgomery County's Alcohol Holiday Task Force sobriety checkpoints ended on Jan. 7, but not without some drama during the seven weeks they were in force. On Saturday, Dec. 30, police say that a driver who was attempting to avoid being pulled over by an officer ended up hitting another vehicle.

According to authorities, the incident occurred at 2:45 a.m. in Montgomery Village near Midcounty Highway and Goshen Road. They say the driver (whose name and gender were not reported) ran a red flashing light and then sped off as a task force officer tried to pull over the vehicle.

DUI charges exacerbated by woman's flight from cops

On New Year's Eve, a 33-year-old Glen Burnie woman was arrested in Pasadena for reckless endangerment, driving under the influence (DUI), assault in the first degree and second-degree assault on police, as well as numerous other traffic charges.

Her troubles began around 7:45 p.m. on Mountain Road. That's when an officer stopped her vehicle in the Rite Aid parking lot on suspicion of drunk driving. An alert had gone out saying that a potentially impaired driver was on the road in that vicinity.

Field sobriety tests for marijuana impairment aren't here yet

As marijuana is increasingly legalized for medicinal and recreational use around the country, law enforcement agencies are struggling to find methods to show that a person has been driving under the influence of the drug.

Attorneys have argued for and against the reliability of field sobriety tests as evidence that a driver is stoned. Since there is not yet a roadside toxicology test comparable to a Breathalyzer to test for marijuana, the admissibility of these other tests is a source of dispute.

Even with dispensaries, marijuana still illegal for many

Medical marijuana is legal in Maryland and the first dispensary opened in December. However, students on campuses across the state should not take this news to mean that laws regarding marijuana use are now lax. Those caught with weed – on or off campus -- can still face legal consequences.

Here is what you need to know about Maryland’s medical marijuana dispensaries and possession laws in the state.

How DUI charges can have lasting implications in your life

One statistic, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suggests that there are over 300,000 motorists who take to United States roadways daily who are impaired by alcohol.

By the time they're eventually arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), it's estimated that it's not the first, but instead the 80th time an individual has driven drunk during their lifetime. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that some 28 people lose their lives in alcohol-induced crashes each day.

Why driving with a hangover can be as dangerous as drunk driving

As the responsible parent of a high school or college student, you've talked to your child about the health and legal risks of underage drinking (particularly binge drinking) and driving under the influence. However, there's also another potentially dangerous alcohol-related activity that even many adults don't consider -- hungover driving.

Teens and adults may think that they're doing the responsible thing by "sleeping it off" after a night of partying and not driving home until the next day. However, the symptoms associated with a hangover can make driving dangerous -- even if a person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) has returned to a legal limit. In fact, it's the significant drop in a person's blood alcohol level after it has been elevated that causes the hangover.

What happens if you decline to submit to field sobriety tests?

When most people are pulled over by a law enforcement officer for suspicion of DUI, their impulse is to submit to any field sobriety tests and preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test, such as a Breathalyzer, that officers ask them to take.

Many drunk drivers don't even realize, because their judgment is impaired, that they have had as much to drink as they have. They think that they'll pass the tests with flying colors. That's when they discover what the police already suspect -- that they are under the influence.

Maryland State Police have increased patrols this holiday season

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the number of fatal crashes rises 10-fold over Christmas and almost 20-fold over the New Year's holiday. Therefore, Maryland State Police (MSP) are taking steps to keep drunk drivers off the roads this season.

Troopers from all 23 MSP barracks are "using a variety of patrol initiatives to keep traffic moving, respond quickly to highway incidents and take appropriate enforcement action when violations are observed that threaten the safety of travelers," according to a press release. They're on the lookout not just for drunk drivers, but for people who are speeding, driving aggressively and guilty of distracted driving.

What to do after a DUI arrest

It’s officially 2018. And while the new year offers motivation for new beginnings for many, if you were recently one of the many arrested for drinking and driving either on New Year’s Eve – or any of the days leading up to the new year – 2018 may not be looking all that hopeful right now.

However, you do not need to start off the year on the wrong foot. You do not need to just accept the charge or plead guilty. Rather, now is the time to gather the facts and create a strategy for how to move forward. You can start mapping out your plan by following these five steps.