Re: Opening Car Door Without Consent - Drugs and Alcohol (Maryland)
OkÖSo, you are:
1) outside of a bar,
2) sitting in a car in the bar parking lot,
3) with two other people (who had just been denied entry to the bar not only because they were underage but had also presented obviously FAKE IDís!!!...Do you think it is within the realm of possibility that the bar owner, who maybe wants to keep his liquor license, called and reported your dumba$$ friends???)
4) with empty alcoholic beverage containers apparently associated with your vehicle (when, I presume consumption outside the confines of the bar is prohibited).
People donít generally go to a bar and then just sit in the parking lot. So, considering all of the above, the cop had more than enough reason to check you out.
As for opening your car door, well, you had already opened the driver door and gotten out. That could well be articulated as implicit consent for him to look a bit closer inside your car than he could just through the windows. But, even without that, you were, again, in a bar parking lot, in a car with three occupants Ė none of which were obviously over the age of 21, and had evidence of having consumed alcohol (the beer cans). I have to assume that at least one of your friends was in the backseat. So, the cop would pretty much have to open the door to get a look at and speak with both of them together. So, yeah, IMO, opening the car door is no violation of your rights.
But, then, you put your hands on the cop! Like previous posters, I am very surprised that you didnít have a sudden and intimate introduction to the asphalt or at least your car hood. Considering the whole series of bad judgment decisions you made that night (driving to a bar on a suspended license, with weed in the car, with two underage people, with two fake IDís, and assaulting a copÖand thatís just what you have told us about!), IMO you should be thanking your lucky stars that all that happened was a DWLS cite.
As to your other questionsÖyes, if he had seen the open beer cans in your car, that would very likely be enough reason for him to legally search further.
And, no, opening your car door is not going to help you get out of the DWLS cite. He didnít discover your driving status by opening the door. So, one has nothing to do with the other.
Iím not going to do the research on Maryland law for you. But, I suspect that DWLS is a criminal offense and not a driving infraction that will result in mere points on your record.
Behind the badge is a person. Behind the person is an ego. This is as it should be, person at the center and ego to the back.