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Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Maryland

After you’ve been arrested for suspected drunk driving, the police will ask you to submit to a breathalyzer test to measure your breath alcohol content (BrAC). You are not required to submit to a breathalyzer test, but you should be aware that there are consequences for refusing to take the test.


When you sign the paperwork to get a driver’s license, or even just drive on Maryland roads, you agree to submit to a breathalyzer if a police officer suspects you of DUI. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, there is an automatic suspension of your driver’s license for 270 days. If you are pulled over a second time and refuse the test again, your license can be suspended for one year.

The only way to continue driving after refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test is to agree to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. An ignition interlock device requires you to blow into a breathalyzer that is hooked into your vehicle’s ignition system to start the vehicle. If your BrAC is higher than .025%, your vehicle will not start. You also have to blow into the device at certain intervals while you are driving. If you have any violations, the Motor Vehicle Administration could revert your license to a full suspension.

You will be responsible for paying any costs associated with installing an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. You will also be required to return to the installer every 30 days to have the device calibrated, and the data from the device downloaded.

It is important to keep in mind that even if you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, you can still be arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI). Breathalyzer results, of course, provide stronger evidence to the prosecutor, so you have to weigh the pros and cons. Only you can make the decision as to whether or not you should submit to a breathalyzer test but it is important that you keep in mind the consequences.


When you’ve been arrested for DUI or DWI, you want the best possible outcome in your case. That’s why it’s important to contact the best attorney for the job. The attorneys at Alpert Schreyer Poe, LLC, have over 30 years of experience defending people in DUI cases. Contact us online or call us at (301) 321-7277 to schedule your free consultation.