Our Columbia MD DUI lawyers help clients rebuild their lives. We all make bad decisions, but that does not mean we have to pay for them forever or without help. From the minute you are stopped on suspicion of drunk driving, you would be wise to do everything in your power to protect your rights. An astute, compassionate, determined DUI or DWI lawyer can help you avoid charges or unnecessarily harsh penalties if you are suspected of driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated. Without the help of a qualified attorney, you are much more likely to face severe consequences for your DUI charge, ranging from license suspension to time in jail.
A DUI charge, in the state of Maryland, means a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. DUI is the most severe charge in that it results in a marking of 12 points against your driver’s license and an automatic suspension. In case of DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) you incur eight points against your license. This charge is typical in instances where drivers have a lower blood alcohol content, but who fail the standard field sobriety tests. Both DUI and DWI charges can severely impact one’s life, career, and family. Therefore these charges are best handled by an experienced Columbia MD DUI attorney. There are three facets to any drunk driving arrest in Maryland, and following the guidelines of a qualified attorney throughout can help mitigate or dispel their negative effects.
The Stop– When you are first stopped on suspicion of drunk driving, you will likely feel nervous as if you have no control over the situation. Understand, however, you do have rights. You are not obligated to speak to the officer or answer any questions. In fact, you have the right to protect yourself from incrimination, and know that police officers are trained to get you to talk. Your seemingly harmless words can be used against you as your case unfolds, and the officer will also be checking for slurred speech and the smell of alcohol on your breath. We do not encourage you to be disrespectful, as this will also exacerbate your situation. Still, you certainly can say as little as possible, and say that you will answer further questions with a Columbia MD DUI lawyer present.
Field Sobriety Tests– Standard field sobriety tests assess your coordination, motor skills, and ability to follow instructions, among other factors that alcohol affects. The problem is, there are many other factors that may affect your test performance as well, including nervousness. Of course, nerves are a natural byproduct of any police stop. Failing the test is not uncommon even for those with low blood alcohol content. If these tests are in any way unfairly or improperly administered, a knowledgeable Columbia MD DUI attorney can have them stricken from the record.
Breath Tests– Under Maryland law, every licensed driver has “implied consent.” That means, by agreeing to drive, you are also agreeing to submit to a field sobriety or breath test if asked. You may still say “no,” if asked to take a test, but understand that this will result in automatic revocation of your license, even if the charges are later dropped.
When you find yourself facing a drunk driving charge, don’t take chances with your future. A qualified DUI lawyer in Columbia Maryland can help salvage your life and your reputation. Contact our Columbia MD DUI attorneys today for the best DUI defense in Maryland.