Maryland DUI Attorney
Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) [Transportation Article, §21-902(a)(1)] and Driving While Impaired (DWI)[Transportation Article, §21-902(b)(1)] are serious crimes in Maryland. A first time conviction for DUI carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and/or $1,000.00 fine and 12 points on your license. A first time conviction of DWI carries a penalty of up to sixty (60) days in jail and/or $500.00 fine and 12 points on your license. Additionally, recent changes in the law allow a judge to order a period of ignition interlock following a conviction. Multiple DUI/DWI convictions only compound the penalties carrying the possibility of longer jail sentences, larger fines and greater restrictions on your driver’s license.
When someone is charged with a DUI/DWI their driver’s license may be affected or your driving privileges may be suspended. Robert Grabo, of Grabo Law, LLC, will work with you to help navigate the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) process when someone is charged with a DUI/DWI, including representation at an MVA hearing to fight for your driving privileges.
As with any other crime, you are innocent until proven guilty and you have a right to a defense attorney. It is in your best interest to hire an attorney as soon as practically possible to allow the attorney to investigate the facts of your case before crucial evidence is gone. Defense attorney, Robert Grabo is here to fight for you and available anytime to discuss your recent DUI/DWI charges.
When you drive or attempt to drive in Maryland, you are deemed to be giving “implied consent” to take a chemical test (blood, breath, or urine) if you are lawfully detained by an officer who has probable cause to believe you have been driving while intoxicated. Refusal to submit to the test can result in an automatic driver’s license suspension for a period of 270 days for your first offense, and a two-year suspension for 2nd and subsequent offenses.
Potential Problems with the Breathalyzer Test to Measure Blood Alcohol Concentration
The Breathalyzer test is the main tool that police officers use when pulling over a driver suspected of drunken driving. The driver blows into a mouth piece and the device registers the percentage of alcohol in the blood. In Maryland, drivers over age 21 can be proven guilty of driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater. Maryland’s “no tolerance” law for drivers under the age of 21 and can be found in violation of the law for a BAC of .02 or higher. Drivers with commercial driver’s licenses are held to a much higher standard and their ability to drive may be immediately impacted if the driver gives a positive BAC breath test while operating a commercial vehicle.
In a best-case scenario, the Breathalyzer works as it should and displays an accurate reading. Unfortunately, many potential problems exist with it. This can include issues with the machine itself as well as physical health issues of the person taking the breath test. Possible issues that fall into the first category include:
- Test given by an inexperienced police officer resulting in serious errors
- Lip balm, mints, tobacco, dentures, or other possible contaminants in the mouth that impact the results
- Radio or cell phone interference with remote Breathalyzer tests
- Lack of preventive maintenance or timely repairs of the machine
- Power surges and other malfunctions of the machine
It’s also possible that you could have a medical condition that causes the device to give a faulty reading. Some of the most common ones reported by people who have registered a false positive include:
- Cancer, COPD, emphysema, and other diseases of the lungs
- Esophageal hernia
- Liver disease
- Chronic heartburn
- Certain types of diets
If you have faced exposure to certain kinds of chemicals, it can alter your body’s pH balance and cause an inaccurate result when you take a Breathalyzer test. This is also true if you have a significant variance of body or breath temperature at the time that you blow into the mouthpiece.
Other Possible Defenses to DUI or DWI in Maryland
Although it can be challenging to prove, it’s possible that you had an unintended drug interaction that caused you to appear intoxicated on the road. Perhaps your body suddenly stopped accepting a medication you had taken for years or you received a new prescription and neither your doctor nor the dispensing pharmacist checked it for potential interactions with your existing medications. In both cases, you may have a valid legal defense to impaired driving because you were truly unaware of the possibility of an adverse drug reaction.
Involuntary intoxication is another possible defense, although it too is difficult to prove. Assume you were at a party and someone slipped a drug or stronger alcohol into your drink. Although you were careful not to consume too much alcohol before driving, you had no way of knowing that you had accidentally consumed more than intended. This is especially true when the effects of the drug or additional alcohol did not appear immediately.
These issues and problems with the Breathalyzer test are just some of the possible defenses you have to a DUI or DWI charge in Maryland. Attorney Robert Grabo will work with you to uncover any possible defense and present it at trial, including a police officer who failed to inform you of your legal rights.
Experience Matters in DUI/DWI Defense
The crime of driving while intoxicated can affect you for years to come. This is in addition to serving time in jail, losing your driver’s license, and paying a fine. You could also have to attend mandatory alcohol education classes, complete community service, pay restitution to the victim if you injured someone, and carry a special classification of auto insurance called SR-22. In the case of the latter, that’s if you can get insurance at all. Some insurance companies won’t accept an applicant with a recent DUI/DWI conviction while others will charge a hefty premium for SR-22 insurance.
With your very future on the line, you can’t afford to take chances with an inexperienced defense attorney. Robert Grabo has more than a decade of experience representing people charged with DUI/DWI or other impaired driving. Since opening his own law practice, he continues to represent clients across Maryland and the District of Columbia who find themselves facing serious legal charges for DUI/DWI. He is happy to share with you the outcome of his most significant cases.
Grabo Law, LLC invites you to contact us at 301-938-7652 for a free initial consultation. We’re available 24 hours a day to help you understand the charges against you and your best legal defense for fighting them.