When you’re sitting at a DUI traffic stop, you may think refusing the breath test will buy you time and allow your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to drop. But in Maryland, refusing the breathalyzer test is just going to increase your DUI penalties, and it will certainly not take the spotlight off of you and your dangerous driving.
A first-time refusal of BAC testing in Maryland means you will have a 270-day driver’s license suspension. That’s a long time to be without access to your own vehicle, and that suspension can have an impact on your employment and other responsibilities you have in life. Maryland wants you to recover from your DUI and allows you to opt for an ignition interlock installation instead of waiting out the suspension. With the interlock, you are able to drive again, but you have to prove your sobriety as you do so.
Not everyone knows that information offhand, and if we’ve been drinking, we may think we can outsmart the officer and get our BAC to a reasonable level. However, ignorance of the implied consent laws of Maryland won’t factor into you refusing the breathalyzer. Those implied consent laws were part of the paperwork you agreed to when applying for your license. You agreed to provide a BAC sample to law enforcement if you were suspected of drinking and driving. Refusing that during a traffic stop is a big indicator that you were drinking and driving.
Refusing a Maryland breathalyzer just leads to more trouble.
Rewind to the moment you had a choice in whether you’d be stopped for drinking and driving: that first step outside your door. You could have made a choice then to have a plan for a safe ride home. You wouldn’t have to worry about refusing a breathalyzer, and you’d be in the clear and back in your own bed, rather than dealing with the aftermath of a DUI.