If you’ve been pulled over for a DUI in Maryland, you may be facing considerable charges. And if you are, you may be a little overwhelmed by all of the information out there on what to do next. We understand how confusing it can be trying to understand all of the laws regarding a DUI in the state of Maryland.
It can be scary when you’re pulled over for a DUI. You may not know what to say or do, but above all, you do know that you don’t want to incriminate yourself. You’ll want to make sure you take the correct steps to ensure that this is the case.
Steps to Take When You’re Pulled Over for a DUI
Never attempt to flee from a police officer who’s attempting to pull you over for a DUI. While this can be nerve-wracking and scary, you need to remain in control of your emotions and be respectful. There are also a few other things you should do:
Step #1. Don’t Make Sudden or Suspicious Moves
Use your turn signal to show the officer that you’re attempting to pull over in a safe location. Once you’re able to stop, place your hands on your steering wheel in the 10 and 2 o’clock position until you’re advised to do otherwise. Doing so is vital because officers are trained to be cautious and protect themselves.
For this reason, the officer(s) will approach your vehicle from behind you, so they have a clear view. You don’t want to turn around and watch them, jump out of your vehicle, or crouch down in your seat out of embarrassment. Instead, make sure you remain polite throughout your entire interaction with the officer. Doing so will be beneficial to you. Stay calm and be respectful.
Step #2. Provide the Officer with Your License and Registration
When you’re pulled over for suspicion of DUI, the officer will ask for your license and registration. Rest assured that this is normal, and you’re expected to comply with this request. When you’re asked to present these documents to the officer, promptly do so. You don’t have to say or do anything else at this point.
Step #3. Don’t Say Anything That May Incriminate You
When an officer stops you for a suspected DUI, you are not required to tell them anything more than is necessary. You should also know that while the officer does have the right to ask for your license and registration, they can’t ask you for anything else.
They may try to ask you some questions regarding this incident, but you’re not under any obligation to answer their questions. You don’t have to tell them where you’re coming from, where you’re going, or how much you’ve had to drink.
Make sure you’re as brief as possible with the officer. There isn’t anything you can say at this point that’s going to help your situation. Remember that anything you say and do can be used against you in court. Officers are trained to listen for specific things here. You don’t want to have them hear anything that they could use against you later.
Step #4. Submit to Chemical Testing
Maryland is an implied consent state. This designation means that you may face severe penalties if you don’t submit to a chemical test (e.g., immediate suspension of your license for 120 days). The reason for this is that you appear guilty when you refuse the test. Refusing a test is not the same as pleading guilty, however.
Step #5. Make Notes of Everything
Once you are released from custody, take some time to note everything you remember about your arrest. Make sure you write down as many notes as possible. It is essential to do this as soon as possible, so your memory is fresh. Doing so will make it easier for your attorney to defend you in court.
Some of the things you’ll want to make mention of in your notes are:
- What you were drinking and how much you had to drink
- What you said to the officer
- When the officer read you your Miranda rights (and if they did not do so)
- When you took the chemical test and how long it had been since your last drink
- Where you were before driving and when you were pulled over
- How the officer behaved and how you reacted to their behavior and instructions
Take the time to make notes of everything you can remember, even if you don’t think it’s relevant. For instance, while you may not realize it, your clothing can affect your ability to successfully pass a roadside sobriety test, especially if you’re wearing something constricting like a tight skirt or balance-changing like high heels. You’ll want to make these notes before contacting an attorney.
Contact an Attorney
While we all try our best, no one is perfect. You want to make sure you have the best representation during such a difficult and stressful time.
At Jeremy Widder Law, we have experience in a wide range of legal practice areas, and we specialize in substance related offenses. If you or someone you love is facing a substance related offense, we’re on your side.
We’re ready to help. Let’s talk.