Implied Consent Laws
Maryland along with most other states have alcohol implied consent laws. Implied consent law all mean that when a police officer has probable calls to pull your vehicle over for some form of a traffic infraction or violation and he subsequently feels as if you may not be safe to drive or otherwise are impaired because of consuming an alcoholic beverage, that you have impliedly given your consent that you will perform a breath alcohol test at the police station when requested to do so.
You impliedly give your consent to perform this test when you first obtain a Maryland state drivers license. So the government essentially has you in a Catch-22 because if you desire a drivers license you will sign off on the implied consent law to give a breath test when requested to do so under circumstances that suggest such a need. Having given your implied consent, you are still free to change her mind at the appropriate time however because of your implied consent earlier obtained there will be administrative penalties for your decision. In order for these administrative penalties to apply however the police officer must properly advise you of your rights under statute known as a DR 15 form. This particular form must be read to you in its entirety prior to asking you to give a breath sample. Alternatively, the officer can give the form to you to read and you can read through it. Unfortunately the form is somewhat complicated and when you are in a impaired state, trying to determine the meaning of the form will be quite challenging. For that matter, even if you were stone sober, understanding this form and making an appropriate decision is very difficult.
There are times however where your implied consent will be forced upon you. If you are involved in a serious accident which has resulted in the death of a human being or serious bodily injury to another person the police can actually force you to provide a breath or blood alcohol test. If you elect not to perform or give a breath sample when requested to do so, the officer can cart you off to the local hospital and have blood forcibly taken from your veins by a doctor or a nurse. That blood will then be mailed to the Maryland crime crime lab located in Pikesville Maryland where it will be tested for alcohol content on their fancy machinery and a number will be derived directly from the blood. While it can be very disconcerting and scary to have a needle forcibly stuck in your arm for the purpose of withdrawing blood, in an accident with serious injuries or death one can at least understand why the government is inclined to perform this draconian task. Sometimes if a breath test operator is not available at the police station they can request of you to give a blood sample at the local hospital however you can still declined to do so if you choose (assuming there was no serious accident).