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Published on 1/17/2022, 7:10:00 PM

What's your chances of beating a DUI case with no breath test?

Many DUI cases involve a refusal of a breath sample. Even without a breath sample or test results, Police in Maryland charge drivers with driving under the influence, and driving while impaired charges based on their opinion about a driver's level of intoxication.

Is it possible to beat a DUI case without a breath test? Yes.

First let's discuss the different types of breath samples in DUI cases. Next we can explain implications of refusing the Intoximeter, then we can explore the way in which it might effect the ability to win your case.

What are the types of breath samples in a Maryland DUI case?

There are two primary breath tests in Maryland:

  1. Preliminary Breath Test: Administered at the scene.
  2. Intoximeter: Conducted at the police station.

officer with preliminary breath test machine

Though trusted, errors in administering or calibrating these tests can lead to false readings. Importantly, refusing a preliminary test isn't permissible as evidence in criminal trials.

If a person submits to a breath alcohol test, a law enforcement officer is likely to be able to testify as to the alcohol level of a driver to a scientific certainty.

A refusal to provide a preliminary breath test is not admissible in a criminal case

I refused a breath test at a police station, what happens now?

Refusing a breath test can have significant implications:

  • License Suspension: Your license may be seized, facing a 270-day suspension. However, opting for an ignition interlock program can bypass this suspension.

  • Legal Implications: Refusing can be held against you in court, with prosecutors arguing your refusal implies guilt. However, the absence of a breath test often aids in building a defense. It could save you jail time if you're facing a second dui in Maryland

Did I have to provide a breath sample at any time?

Maryland's driving license implies consent to chemical testing. As the back of each license reads:

"Driving in Maryland implies consent to chemical testing for intoxication as required by law. Longer license suspension may result from refusal to be tested."

Back of Sample Maryland License

Not providing a sample violates this agreement, granting the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) the right to suspend your license.

So my license is suspended... what happens to my criminal case?

A refusal of a breath test in a Maryland DUI case can be used against you in Court. It allows the prosecutor to argue that you wouldn't have refused unless you were drinking.

Additionally, the State may seek enhanced penalties for a refusal to provide a breath sample.

The State of Maryland must prove your DUI charges beyond a reasonable doubt. By refusing a breath test at a Police Station, you've made their job that much harder. The lack of a chemical breath test is often very strong reasonable doubt, even if the prosecutor argues it was due to your own refusal.

What�s your chances of beating a dui case with no breath test?

DUI defense without a breath sample primarily rests on challenging the officer's opinion. Strategies might include:

  • Questioning the Officer's Expertise: Address their training, qualifications, and field sobriety testing methods.
  • Highlighting Inconsistencies: Emphasize the absence of alcohol indicators, good driving behavior, clear conversations with officers, and video evidence showcasing sober coordination.
  • Exploring Alternative Explanations: Present other reasons for suspected DUI signs.

It's essential to remember that no two cases are identical. A skilled Maryland DUI attorney tailors the defense strategy to your specific circumstances.

Many DUI lawyers prefer to try refusal cases before juries, as jurors find the DUI testing to be confusing, unlike Judges who often believe the tests are easy to understand.

A skilled Maryland DUI lawyer will customize your trial strategy to fit the facts of your case. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to DUI refusal cases.

How do you convince someone I wasn't drunk when I refused?

The Maryland advice of rights form can be VERY confusing for a driver. This form is presented to a driver late at night, or played in a very long audio clip.

What does the advice of rights form look like?

dui advice of rights maryland form side 1

advice of rights form side 2

Could I be going to jail?

If you don't take your DUI case seriously, a Judge could consider incarceration if you were convicted. This is why it is of the upmost importance that you speak with a qualified DUI lawyer. Generally, Judges first time offenders can avoid incarceration by taking proper steps pending their Court date.

Taking the Next Steps

Act swiftly. Contact a DUI attorney promptly after your charge. With expert advice, many DUI refusal cases can be effectively contested in court.

For a free consultation on your specific case, reach out to us.