What Happens If You Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer Test in Maryland?

If you’ve been pulled over while driving, you may be asked to take a breathalyzer test. A Preliminary Breath Test, or PBT, is a common, portable method that police officers use to test the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood. This can tell police whether you are driving with more than the legal limit of alcohol in your system. Sometimes you may not want to take this test, but what happens if you refuse to do so?

Maryland’s Implied Consent Law

In the state of Maryland, if you receive a driver’s license and use it by driving on highways or roads for public use, you’re agreeing to the state’s implied consent law. While many may not be aware of the law, it shouldn’t come as a surprise because it is stated in the Maryland Driver’s Manual.
Maryland’s implied consent law says that when you are driving on roads for the general public use, you have already given consent to take tests required by law enforcement. This can include the breathalyzer test as well as blood tests.

Can You Still Refuse to Take the Test?

By driving, you have automatically agreed to the implied consent law, which means you’ve agreed to take a breathalyzer test should the need arise. However, you can still refuse to take the test when a police officer asks, but only if you weren’t involved in an accident that resulted in someone’s injury or death. Refusing a breath test will result in consequences.

What Happens If You Refuse?

If you refuse a breath test, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for 270 days in Maryland. Your license will be confiscated by the police officer, but you may be eligible for a temporary license that is valid for 45 days. This means you’ll have 30 days to request an administrative hearing. If you don’t request a hearing, your driver’s license suspension will begin on the 46th day after receiving the temporary license. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test on a separate, second occasion, your license will then be suspended for a year.

Can You Still Be Represented by an Attorney?

If you find that you are in a DUI situation and you do refuse to take a breathalyzer test, you can still be represented by an attorney in Maryland. The Law Office of C. Gregory Coburn is here to help you, whether you refused a breath test or not. Call us today for a free phone consultation for your DUI case.