When a police officer pulls you over and you know you've been drinking, you may be tempted to refuse to take the breath test, thinking that it's going to lead to an arrest. While you technically do have this option, there are a few reasons why you should take the test.
First and foremost, you may face charges for refusing the test, and these are sometimes close to the charges you'd get if you were actually charged with drunk driving. Therefore, you may not actually be any better off to refuse.
On top of that, the police don't need the test results to say that you are drunk. The officer may smell that you've been drinking, he or she may have observed questionable driving, or the officer could ask you to do roadside tests. Together, these things can all lead to an arrest, even if you skip the breath test.
Plus, taking a breath test can actually help you if the police make any mistakes. Perhaps the breath test device has not been calibrated recently enough. Maybe it's not working the way that it is supposed to. Perhaps the officer isn't sure how to use it properly.
If any of these things happen, you may be able to use them when crafting your defense. In that light, taking the test actually gives you more options than if you refuse it, as you leave the door open for law enforcement to make a mistake.
Those who have been charged with drunk driving in Maryland need to know how to proceed and what information can impact their defense tactics.
Source: Business Insider, "LAWYER: You Should Always Take A Breathalyzer — Even If You've Been Drinking," Christina Sterbenz, accessed Feb. 05, 2016