There is a saying that notes you are free to make choices, but you aren't free to choose the consequences for your actions. Refusing to take a breath test is one perfect example of this. You can choose to refuse the test, but you will have to deal with the penalties that are set by the state's implied consent law. We know that this might be hard to accept, but you need to think carefully if you are ever in this position.
Breath tests are a large and expanding part of the fight against drunk driving for many police departments and other law enforcement agencies. There are several differences between models and brands, although most people who breathe into them aren't aware of them. The inconsistencies in "Breathalyzers," as the tests are known, can eliminate them as evidence.
In the United States, the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution gives us the right to refuse to do anything that could be self-incriminating. Many people take this to mean that they should refuse a field sobriety or a Breathalyzer test if they're stopped on suspicion of drunk driving by police. While you may think that there's little chance that you can be convicted of a crime for a refusal, this isn't necessarily the case.
It is a basic premise in criminal law that driving is not a right, it is a privilege. Under that construction, the state can take away your privilege to drive, even if you are not convicted of a crime. The most prolific example occurs when an either fails or refuses to submit to a breathalyzer test. Either action results in an automatic suspension of the license, pending review by a criminal court. This post will go over the nature of how the suspension works and when it becomes effective.
Everyone is aware that police can test people's alcohol levels with the breathalyzer. There are dozens of iterations, but they all do the same thing. You blow into the device, and it measures your blood-alcohol content in your breath. Anything that is above 0.08 percent is a crime and could increase to a felony. This post will go over breathalyzers for drugs and how the technology is fairing.
Refusing to submit to a breath test might be the wise choice during a DUI stop, however, it can also result in automatic penalties getting levied against you. The Maryland Vehicle Administration (MVA) will automatically suspend your license, regardless if you are convicted or not. If you are convicted, a standard punishment is for the court to install an ignition interlock device. These devices are relatively new, and research is only now coming out to the efficacy of these devices. This post will go over these findings and how they may affect you.