Maryland DUI/DWI Attorneys
Some states refer to it as Driving Under the Influence (DUI), others refer to it as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and a small group of states called it Operating Under the Influence (OUI). (We generally refer to it as “DUI” at this site.)
This criminal offense generally includes either driving under the influence of alcohol to the extent it impairs your physical and mental faculties, or driving while you have a blood alcohol content of .08 or greater regardless of whether the alcohol has had any effect on you. The offense is also mistakenly known as “drunk driving” although that term has no official meaning and is a misnomer because you don’t have to be drunk (or driving) in order to be arrested and convicted of a DUI.
Obviously, the best tip is to never put yourself in a situation where you are likely to drink and drive.
- If you are going to drink, choose a designated driver.
- If you realize you had too much to drink, call UBER, a cab or have someone pick you up.
Take your keys out of the ignition. You can still be charged with a DUI even if your vehicle is stopped. If your vehicle is blocking a roadway and indications were that you had been driving (keys in the ignition, hood warm to the touch) you will be charged with a DUI, so make sure to park in a safe place and take the keys out of the ignition and move to the back seat.
In my experience, some DUI drivers are stopped for reasons most people wouldn’t expect. Forgetting to turn on your headlights, playing your music too loud, tinted windows, expired tags are just some of the silly reasons that people are pulled over for DUI that have little to do with being impaired.
How you respond to police pulling you over is just one of the tests in whether you are impaired or not. If you take too long to pull over or pull over quickly on the side of the freeway, the officer is going to take this into account in gauging whether you are DUI or not.
If someone gave you a hard time at your job, you’d probably make their life more difficult. Police Officers are no different. While being courteous will not get you out of a DUI, it will make the officers hopefully treat you with the same respect. The arresting officer has to document everything you do and your demeanor on a police report that will be vital to your criminal and MVA cases, so how he depicts you in that report is very important.
You don’t have to answer any of the preliminary questions, i.e. what you drank, how much you drank and where you drank. If you feel that you are impaired, your answers will only convict you further. Respectfully advise the officer that you’d rather not answer any questions. In many DUI cases, the driver’s own words are the strongest evidence against them.
The tests that are done at the traffic stop are not mandatory. Again, only refuse to take the field sobriety tests if you feel impaired. If you are already impaired, the result of these field tests are used to substantiate the DUI charges against you, so don’t give them the rope to hang you with. Furthermore, the results of your Field Sobriety Tests are purely at the discretion of the officer.
Once you are placed under arrest for DUI, you will be provided with an “Advice of Rights Form” advising you of the of penalties if you refuse to take the breath test at the Police Station. Failure to take the breath test could result in the loss of your license for a substantial period of time.
You have 30 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing to save your license. If you do not request a hearing, your license will automatically go into suspension. Don’t think that you can go into the MVA hearing yourself and beg and plead to keep your license. The hearing officer will tell you that the hearing deals only with the technicalities of your DUI and has nothing to do with your personal hardship. DUI Attorneys Joseph C. Mckenzie and Payman Tehrani have handled hundreds of DUI MVA hearings and know what the issues are and how to win.
One of the common misfortunes that we see as DUI lawyers in court is the poor souls who march in and, attempt to resolve their own DUI case. The common misconception is that the Judge or the Prosecutor will feel sorry for them and give them a break. Reality is not that nice. What happens is they are given a choice to take a deal or to go to trial. There is no negotiation or any discussion about what this will do to their lives and their jobs. Judges and Prosecutors do not negotiate with non-represented persons. Hand your case over to an experienced attorney who has handled hundreds of cases just like yours, who knows the prosecutor of your case by his/her first name and who knows what to do and how to do it.