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Do you have to submit to a breath test in Maryland?

It may sound counter-intuitive that the police can arrest you for a crime for refusing to waive your Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures but an exception has been carved out for DUI stops and investigations. Based on these exceptions, Maryland allows police officers to confiscate licenses and arrest you for refusing to submit to the breathalyzer test. You do have rights, for example, to contest the allegation but it can be an uphill battle.

 

If an officer confiscates your license, you are entitled to receive two documents. First, you should receive the "Officer's Certification and Order of Suspension." This document provides you with information about the circumstances of your arrest, the officer's observations and other information. You may use this document as a temporary license until you get a temporary driving ID card (but it is not required).

The second document is the "Advice of Rights form." This document explains the administrative sanctions that will be levied against you. Specifically, the sanctions you will face regarding your driving privileges in Maryland. Driving is not a right, it is a privilege therefore, Maryland is free to revoke it. It also gives you information on how to appeal your license suspension to get your license reinstated. You must indicate if you agreed to the test or refused. Both you and the officer will sign the form.

If you are facing a charge because you refused to submit to a breathalyzer test then you may want to speak to an attorney. Some punishments are unavoidable. For example, it is like the DMV will suspend your license. But an attorney can help you get your license reinstated and defend your case in court. Most of the time, you should be able to obtain a temporary license that allows you to drive to work and court.

 

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