If caught DUI in MD is it better to take the sobriety tests or refuse?

I had always assumed it’s best to cooperate with the police re sobriety tests, but this thread made me wonder if that is the best course of action. If I left a bar in Maryland well lit and was pulled over, would it be better (strategically) to take the test and get convicted of DUI, or refuse to take the breathalyzer and/or other field sobriety tests and take the punishment for refusing to take the test (whatever that is) and keep my record free of a DUI conviction?

This is a dangerous question… now why would you go driving knowing you’re “well-lit”?

I don’t know about M.D. laws, but most of the lawyers and cops I know (step-pop being a Chicago cop) lead me to believe that if you are over the limit - don’t blow (unless you’re someone like O.J. or a Senator’s relative or something then it [sadly] doesn’t usually matter what you do). Though a good (usually expensive) lawyer could probably save you - at least for the first DUI.

Of course you could save yourself (and maybe others) a lot of trouble and call a cab.:smack: One mistake could last a lifetime.

Not a lawyer here, but I do have a friend who “beat” a Maryland DUI by refusing to take the field sobriety test.

She politely told the officer sorry, but on the advice of her lawyer she was to refuse all field tests. Her BAC at the station was fairly low–right around 0.08. It appears as if the lack of probable cause at the scene and the low results at the station encouraged the state to settle on a deal that was just as costly to my friend in fines but not “officially” a DUI, which saved her a bundle in insurance premiums.

However, I’ve often wondered whether or not she might have gotten off easier by actually taking the field breathalyzer. I don’t know when she stopped drinking before she drove. It takes a little while for the alcohol to be absorbed into the bloodstream, so I think there’s a small possibility that she may have been under the legal limit when she was stopped, but her BAC continued to rise into illegal territory on her way to the station.

Regardless of your BAC, if you drink and drive you increase your chances of becoming dead before you reach your destination. Driving a car under the best conditions is inherently dangerous. Deliberately impairing your ability to drive before you do so is stupid.

Michigan’s an “implied consent” state. This means that by having a license it’s automatically inferred that you agree to the breath analyzer test. Refusing is an automatic suspension (or revocation maybe) of your license.

Why do the officers even administer a field test? Why not hop right to the Breathalyzer and get it over with. As the driver you would want to do this, for reasons Sofa King stated.

If you were over the legal limit but aced the field test would they not even administer the breathalyzer? This would be the only scenario that would favor the driver - someone who could really hold their liquor could be over the limit and pass the field test and not get busted.

Good question, whuckfistle. In Ireland and IIRC most European countries, they go straight for the bag. All this walking in straight line nonsense seems unnecessary.

We are a “form the opinion” country in that the police have to form the opinion that you may be over the limit before thay can stop and test you. This is usually done by observing the driving but often the cops will set up a tax and insurance check late at night to enable them stop drivers and form the opinion from their conversation with them. Thankfully, this is being got rid of in favour of random breath testing, as in Australia and some other countries. Maybe the field tests are the US method of complying with the legal requirement to form the opinion.

Is there another option? I would refuse a breathalyzer & ask to take the urine test instead, drinking lots of water to make sure it comes out well.

Thing is, in some states refusing to take a test can cause a license suspension too.

MD DUI laws:
"If the test result is .07 or more, but less than .08, it is considered prima facie evidence the driver is impaired by alcohol.

If the test result is more than .05 but less than .07, the test evidence is considered neutral.

If the test result is .05 or less, the driver is presumed not to be under the influence of alcohol."