Maryland has “per se” laws to limit the amount of alcohol a driver can have in his or her system.

Latin for “in itself,” per se laws make it illegal for drivers to operate a vehicle with an illegal blood alcohol content. In other words, even if your ability to drive is not impaired, you can still be arrested for drunk driving simply because you have a BAC above the 0.08% limit.

It’s important for you to know that before an officer can administer a blood alcohol or breathalyzer test, the officer must first establish probable cause.

First and foremost, the officer must prove he had a reason for stopping you—such as speeding, swerving over the center line, or running a red light, etc. Then the officer must show he saw something that led him or her to believe you were under the influence of alcohol—such as smelling alcohol on your breath or noticing an open container of alcohol in your vehicle. If both of these requirements are not met, your test results may be inadmissible in court. This is why you need an experienced DUI lawyer!

The penalties for violating Maryland’s per se DUI vary but, a first DUI conviction carries a minimum 45-day license suspension and up to a $1,000 fine and/or one-year jail sentence.

An experienced drunk driving DUI lawyer will protect your rights and provide ongoing legal support. An experience Maryland DUI attorney will review the circumstances of your arrest to determine the best approach for your defense.