DUI Defense in Maryland: Your Rights and Options

Lesley Atkinson Feb. 21, 2024

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Baltimore, Maryland, carries severe consequences that can affect your life in numerous ways.  Most folks that are charged with a DUI, have a car, have a job/career and rely on their license to get to and from work.

If you are facing DUI charges in Maryland, it is critical to understand your rights and options for defense. In this article explore an overview of DUI defense in Maryland and discuss some strategies to help protect your rights and potentially mitigate the consequences of a DUI conviction.  Keep in mind that this is meant to be an overview and is not intended to be rendering legal advice.

DUI Laws in Maryland:

 In Maryland, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Additionally, Maryland has an implied consent law, which means that by driving on the state's roads, you implicitly consent to chemical testing (such as breath, blood, or urine tests) if you are suspected of DUI. Refusing to submit to a chemical test can result in administrative penalties, such as license suspension.  More details on your rights can be found on the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration website:  https://mva.maryland.gov/Documents/DR-015-Advice-of-Rights-English.pdf

If you've been charged with DUI in Maryland, there are several defense strategies that your attorney may employ to challenge the prosecution's case. Some common defense strategies include:

  1. Challenging the legality of the traffic stop: Police officers must have a valid reason, such as reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or criminal activity, to stop a motorist. If the traffic stop was conducted without proper justification, any evidence obtained as a result of the stop may be suppressed. At Atkinson Law our attorney can analyze the legality of the stop.

  2. Contesting the results of chemical tests: Breathalyzer and blood tests are not infallible and can produce inaccurate results for various reasons, including improper calibration, operator error, or physiological factors. We may challenge the reliability and accuracy of the chemical tests conducted in your case.

  3. Questioning the field sobriety tests: Field sobriety tests, such as the walk-and-turn or one-leg stand, are subjective assessments of a driver's coordination and balance. These tests are not always reliable indicators of intoxication and can be influenced by factors such as fatigue or medical conditions.

  4. Arguing necessity or duress: In some cases, individuals may have driven under the influence out of necessity or duress, such as in emergency situations where there were no alternative means of transportation available.

Consequences of DUI Conviction:

If convicted of DUI in Maryland, you may face severe penalties, including fines, license suspension, mandatory participation in an alcohol education program, and even jail time, particularly for repeat offenses or aggravated circumstances such as accidents involving injuries or fatalities.

 Facing DUI charges in Maryland can be a daunting experience, but it's essential to remember that you have rights and options for defense. By working with an experienced DUI defense attorney who understands Maryland's laws and legal procedures and is familiar with the local jurisdiction, you can improve your chances of achieving a favorable outcome in your case. Whether challenging the legality of the traffic stop, contesting the results of chemical tests, or exploring alternative defense strategies, a skilled attorney can help protect your rights and minimize the potential consequences of a DUI conviction. 

At Atkinson Law, our attorney’s have been handling DUI cases in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Harford County for over 20 years.  Please contact us today at (410)882-9595 to set up a consultion or visit us at https://www.atkinsonlawyers.com/contact-us/.