If you are pulled over for driving under the influence in Lexington Park, you will be put through a number of tests before being brought into the police station. Police officers may ask you to take a number of field sobriety tests and even a preliminary breath test before deciding to take you into the station. It may be important to understand this process and the rights you have as a Lexington Park driver. If your rights are violated in any way during the arrest, the charges should be dropped. If you have been charged with drunk driving, it would be in your best interest to immediately contact knowledgeable Lexington Park DUI attorneys in your area.
Rights of Drivers
In the state of Maryland you are not legally obligated to take a field sobriety test or a preliminary Breathalyzer test. Drivers should know, however, that refusing to participate in these tests may give the arresting officer sufficient reason to bring them into the station, where they are required under the law to take an official breath test. Refusal to take an official breath test can result in additional penalties and citations. It is important to remember that an officer only needs to observe your personal appearance or hear you admit fault to have enough reason or to bring you down to the station for a mandatory breath test.
Field Sobriety Tests
There are a number of field sobriety tests that a Lexington Park police officer may administer:
- One-Leg Stand: This is a divided attention test. The officer will ask you to raise one foot off the ground while counting out loud to 30. Swaying, needing your arms to balance or making mistakes while counting are ways to fail this test.
- Walk and Turn: This is another divided attention test. You will be asked to take nine steps forward, pivot and then take nine steps back while counting the number of steps out loud. The police officer will look for missing steps, swaying, turning balance and incorrect counting.
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: Police will use an object, usually a pen, to test how steadily the eye moves back and forth. The suspect will be asked to follow the pen as it moves from side to side. If the eye cannot move back and forth smoothly, it could be a sign of intoxication.
A police officer needs extensive training to make sure he or she can administer these tests properly. Many of these tests are imperfect at best. The charges brought against a driver as the result of a failed field sobriety test are often defensible in court.
Preliminary Breath Test
A preliminary breath test is when a driver blows into a Breathalyzer. The results of this test are not admissible in court, but they could give the officer cause to bring the driver in to the police station for a mandatory breath test. Breathalyzers are often not properly calibrated. Many have been improperly arrested and convicted because of a malfunctioning or inaccurate Breathalyzer.
The attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC have had a successful track record defending the rights of residents. Our DUI defense lawyers thoroughly understand the procedures involved in a DUI arrest as well as administration of breath tests and field sobriety tests. If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges in Lexington Park, please contact our office to find out how we can help. Calling us for that free consultation is your first step to fighting these serious charges against you.
Alpert Schreyer, LLC
22776 Three Notch Road, Suite 201
Lexington Park, MD 20653
For directions to our Lexington Park, Maryland office click here