Every day, Maryland DUI lawyers represent individuals who have been stopped because police officers suspected that they were driving while intoxicated. Police officers will ask the suspected drunk driver to submit to a number of sobriety tests. If the individual refuses to take the breathalyzer test, the police have a difficult decision–do they charge that person with only refusing a breathalyzer test, or do they give them a driving while intoxicated charge as well? Law enforcement officers around the country have debated this for many years. It is current policy that in the situation, the person would receive both charges.
Some avoided this protocol for while before agreeing to it. Automatically giving a double charge when suspecting a motorist of driving while intoxicated, would hinder the officer from handling the situation objectively. Police officers need to seriously analyze the situation and weigh in all evidence before making a charge. While the decision to also administer a DUI charge is ultimately up to the officer, state police departments encourage the double charge.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, police officers nationwide arrested many people for refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test–and had prime opportunity to employ the newly enforced double charge. Included in the group of those arrested is veteran federal prosecutor Gerard B. Sullivan. However, there was just one crucial difference–he was the only one who avoided a DUI charge as well. Two motorists told officers that he appeared “out of it” at a green light and proceeded to swerve continuously and hit curbs. When police caught up with Sullivan, he admitted to driving drunk and was taken to the station. Even though he was the only one that escaped a DUI charge, his job is in serious jeopardy as a result.
Facing criminal charges of driving while intoxicated is an overwhelming and scary process. Conviction of drunk driving will have life altering consequences including the loss of job and driving privileges, fines, and/or jail time. For the best protection of your personal freedoms and liberties, it is important to contact a hard-working and experienced Maryland DUI attorney or Maryland criminal lawyer immediately. Please visit our Maryland DUI defense website by clicking here.