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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Consequences of Refusing the Breathalyzer Test

    I live in Maryland and have a clean driving record (no accidents or citations in last 10 years). I pay a very reasonable amount for car insurance ($400 per year for liability coverage only--the car itself is not insured). When I go out, I almost always drink modestly (one or two drinks in 2-3 hours). I don't believe I am ever driving intoxicated.

    This weekend, my roommate was pulled over for DWI, and he refused the breathalyzer test. I'm not convinced that was a good decision, but regardless of his decision, I would like to prepare myself in advance for what I should do if I'm pulled over.

    It is my understanding that if I'm pulled over for suspicion of DWI in Maryland, I should refuse the Field Sobriety Test (FST), but should instead suggest that I would take a field breathalyzer test if the officer agrees to share the reading with me. Furthermore, it is my understanding that if taken back to the station for a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test, I should not refuse the test since the consequences of refusing are much larger than the consequences of failing the test for a first time offender, no matter how high the BAC reads. Question 1: Is this correct? Question 2: If I fail the BAC, what is likely to happen to my car insurance rates if (a) I successfully obtain Probation Before Judgment (PBJ); (b) I am unable to obtain PBJ? Question 3: Under what circumstances would a judge in Maryland typically allow a first time offender to have PBJ, and under what circumstances would a judge in Maryland typically refuse PBJ? Question 4: If I refuse the take a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test, what is likely to happen to my car insurance rates?

    Next: it is my understanding that it is a crime to refuse a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test if I am pulled over on a federal parkway such as the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Question 4: What happens in terms of criminal charges, license suspension in Maryland and insurance rates if I try to refuse?

    Next: it is my understanding that Maryland has some reciprocity laws with the District of Columbia, Virginia and other states. Question 5: What happens in terms of criminal charges, license suspension in Maryland and insurance rates if I refuse a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test if pulled over in the District of Columbia? Question 6: what about Virginia? Question 7: what about some other state? Question 8: if I am pulled over in the District of Columbia, Virginia or some other state, as a resident of another state, under what circumstances should I refuse (a) a Field Sobriety Test; (b) a field breathalyzer test; (c) a station breathalyzer or blood alcohol test? Does this answer depend on what I think the test result is likely to be?

    Thank you for any assistance or guidance you could provide.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Consequences of Refusing the Breathalyzer Test

    Perhaps somebody else will write the dissertation you want.

    I'm going to cut it short: If you don't want to face the consequences of being caught driving while impaired, don't do it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Consequences of Refusing the Breathalyzer Test

    Hello Mr. KnowNothing,

    Of course, that does not answer any one of my questions. I'm not sure why you are offended by my attempt to understand what the law says and its consequences.

    I'm going to assume and hope there are folks on this board that do have an interest in learning and sharing and that one of them will respond.

    Would anyone happen to know the answer to any one of the questions? I'm not expecting anyone to answer every question, but if you happen to know the answer to just one of them, any information or enlightenment you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: Consequences of Refusing the Breathalyzer Test

    If you refuse a test, your license gets suspended. If you fail a test, your license gets suspended. When you don't have a license, your insurance does not cover you. When you get it back, the insurance company charges you a very high rate, anticipating you will do it again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,598

    Default Re: Consequences of Refusing the Breathalyzer Test

    Please do NOT insult the volunteer respondents here. Not only does it make you look like a child, but it disinclines both the person you insulted and all the others from wanting to bother to help.

    What you missed is this is not the "How do I get information on how to break the law and get away with it forum."

    A refusal will result in a suspension of your license (if you are in the jurisdiction in which it is issued) or in the suspension of your driving privileges if licensed elsewhere. Unlike a DWI conviction, there's no obligation that the refusal suspension be reciprocated across jurisdictions. In some states (since you wrote this open ended), refusal itself is a criminal violation.

    However, do note, that while having a BAC over the per se limit makes the conviction for DUI a slam dunk, that you can still be convicted based on other testimony even if you refuse the field tests.

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