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Common Defense To DUI Charges In Maryland


If you’ve been charged with DUI in the state of Maryland, you may feel hopeless about your prospects of beating the charge. While it’s true that the majority of DUI charges filed in Maryland do result in conviction, often, defendants have defenses available to them that they may not be aware of. In this article, the Maryland DUI attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered will discuss possible defenses to DUI charges and how they can be employed during your criminal case.

Challenging the stop 

Police cannot indiscriminately pull over a vehicle to check to see if the driver is under the influence. Instead, they must have a reasonable suspicion that you are committing a crime or traffic violation before they can initiate the stop. If the officer did not have a valid reason for pulling you over, any evidence that was obtained during the stop can be thrown out of court.

Challenging field sobriety tests 

Field sobriety tests are by no means scientific proof that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They are the subjective assessments of the officer administering the test. Often, they are only evidence of anxiety, fatigue, or a physical disability. Someone with joint pain in their knee will find it difficult to stand on one leg for an extended period of time. In other cases, these tests aren’t even administered properly. Establishing that you had a valid reason for failing the test or that the test was administered improperly can help your defense.

Challenging a breathalyzer test 

Breathalyzer tests are the most common way for an officer to determine if a driver is drunk. However, these tests are not always accurate and can be influenced by factors such as ketosis or mouth alcohol. Such factors can artificially inflate the readings leading an officer to believe that you are above .08 BAC when you are actually not. Further, the breathalyzer machine must be properly calibrated. If it isn’t, it can lead to false positives.

Challenging a blood test 

In some cases, officers will draw blood to determine the level of intoxication of the suspect. The blood is refrigerated and then tested later to determine the amount of alcohol in the blood. If the blood is not stored properly, it can ferment the sample leading to an artificially inflated result. If you can show that the blood test was not administered properly, this can help your defense.

Arguing necessity or duress 

In some cases, you may be able to argue that you were forced due to circumstances beyond your control to drive under the influence of alcohol. For example, if a close family member was having a medical event or you were threatened with bodily harm unless you drove, you can argue that before the court.

Talk to a Maryland DUI Attorney Today 

Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered represent the interests of Maryland residents who are facing DUI charges. Call our Bel Air criminal lawyers today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.

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