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Can I refuse a breath test?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2019 | Firm News

Even if you aren’t drunk, if you’ve had a few drinks before driving home — just the idea of getting pulled over is worrisome. Is the officer going to smell the beer on your breath and automatically assume you are drunk? Should you even agree to a breath test?

Maryland has the “implied consent” law. This means that by having a driver’s license in the state, you are agreeing to take a breath test if an officer pulls you over and has probable cause to believe you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

But what does this mean?

You can say no, but it’s no advised

No one can force you to take a breath test. However, if you say no — you are automatically adding another charge for refusing the breath test. You will also automatically lose your driver’s license for refusing the test.

Rather, it is better to take the test. If you only had a beer, this should not put you over the legal limit. However, if you take the test and you are over the legal limit, know that you still have options.

You can challenge the results of a breath test

A breath test can be inaccurate. Plain and simple. Either the machine can be off, or the officer can be using it incorrectly. In fact, the officer may not even be properly trained or qualified to be using the machine in the first place.

These are also not the only reasons, as possible breath test defenses run the gamut. From certain medical conditions, to radio frequency interference – there are numerous possibilities for challenging the results of a breath test.