There are a lot of misconceptions about driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Maryland. It’s important to know the facts, especially if you’ve been arrested for DUI. Here are some common myths about DUI in Maryland:
DUI is Just a Traffic Offense
This is not true. A DUI is a misdemeanor criminal offense in Maryland. It carries potential jail time and can go on your criminal record. Repeat offenses lead to longer potential jail time. In addition, if you seriously injure or kill someone in a drunk driving accident, you could face a felony charge.
It’s Not a DUI Unless You’re Over the Legal Limit
This is one of the most common myths about DUI. While a blood alcohol content (BAC) that is .08% or higher is considered a DUI per se, an individual’s BAC is not the only evidence needed to establish a DUI. Field sobriety tests, witness statements, and the observations of the arresting police officer can all be used to establish that someone is driving under the influence.
Breathalyzers are a Reliable Indicator of Blood Alcohol Content
Another one of the most common myths about DUI, people believe that breathalyzers are the ultimate indicator of blood alcohol content. Breathalyzer tests can be manipulated or administered incorrectly which can lead to questionable results. In addition, medical factors and the size and gender of the individual being tested can all be factors that affect the reliability of the test.
You Cannot be Arrested for DUI Unless You Are Drunk.
Police officers sometimes arrest people for DUI based on little evidence of impairment. All an officer needs to arrest is probable cause to believe that someone is under the influence. This does not constitute much evidence. In many cases, an officer believes they have enough cause to arrest, but the charges are later thrown out in court. The level of impairment of a driver can be difficult for an officer to determine subjectively. They often rely on a mental checklist of items that indicate impairment, such as the smell of alcohol or someone appearing to slur their words. Any of these factors may not lead to a conviction for DUI, but they very well could lead to an arrest.
Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney
If you’ve been arrested for DUI, it is important to have an experienced DUI attorney on your side. Contact the lawyers at Alpert Schreyer, LLC or call us at 866-444-6363 for a free consultation today.