When an individual receives a driver’s license in Maryland, he or she agrees to do certain things. For example, a licensed driver agrees to produce his or her license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance if requested by a police officer during a traffic stop. This is known as “implied consent.” A verbal agreement is not required. The signature on the driver’s license constitutes an “implied” agreement. Implied consent rules can sometimes prompt a license suspension, especially regarding DUI charges.
When a person has given implied consent by signing a Maryland driver’s license, he or she agrees to submit to a chemical Breathalyzer, blood or urine test when requested to do so following a DUI arrest. This situation is different from being asked to take a preliminary alcohol screening breath test or field sobriety test during a traffic stop (before an arrest has taken place). If the individual refuses to take the chemical test following an arrest, his or her driver’s license will be suspended.
DUI penalties are stiff in Maryland
It’s still possible to wind up facing DUI charges even if the individual refused to take a chemical test. If convicted, the court may issue fines up to $500 on a first offense, in addition to as many as two months in jail and a 6-month license suspension. If an arrest took place when there was a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle, penalties under conviction are even more severe.
In Maryland, the Advice of Rights form (DR-15) must be given to the person who has been arrested for DUI to sign. Prior to issuance of the form, the police officer must advise the person of his or her rights. A chemical test may only be administered after the form has been signed. If the individual’s legal rights were violated in any way during or following an arrest, the issue may be brought to the court’s attention, which might then result in the judge dismissing the case.