Suspected Drunk Driver's Refusal to Take a Blood and / or Alcohol Test

There is an automatic suspension of a person's driver license who declines to submit to testing for drugs and alcohols. There is an implied consent to take an alcohol test if the person is detained on suspicion of attempting to drive or drive while under the influence of drugs and alcohol and being impaired by drugs and alcohol.

Implied consent of a driver to take a test is that the driver can decline to take a test unless the driver has been in car crash that results in a life-threatening injury to, or death of, another person. If a driver refused to take a test, then it will result in consequences. For instance, the driver who refuses the first time to take the test, that person's driver license will be suspended for 270 days. This is named as an administrative per se law because this method of sanction through administration procedure such as driver license being suspended from driver not taking the test.

The Court of Appeals must determine if the office is required to be specific the type of test to take such as a blood test or breath test when the police asks that a driver to take a test for alcohol concentration.

The driver crashed the car. The police officer approached the car and found the driver as being conscious, but not able to move. The driver stated that he was drunk to the police officer. The police officer smelled alcohol on his breath. The driver asked for an administrative hearing. The Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) suspended the driver commercial driver's license for 12 months. Instead of suspending for 270 days, the driver would have an Ignition Interlock installed on his car that he used.

MVA argued that the Circuit Court erred before the Maryland Court of Appeals. MVA's position is that TR section 16-205.1 requires a police officer to request a driver in question to take a test involving alcohol concentration. However, the police officer is not required to request to the driver whether the test will be a blood test or a breath test. The driver contended that the police office must advise what type of test was being taken at the time.

The Maryland Court of Appeals held that a police office is required to request that a driver to take a test involving alcohol concentration. It is not mandatory for a police officer to advice the driver that the test will be a breath test or blood test. The statute states that an office is required for a person to take a test. There is nothing in the statute that the test be breath or blood.

The police officer issued the "Advice of Rights" form which is a DR-015 form. In the DR-015 form, it states the statute of TR section 16-205.1 if you drink alcohol and/or ingest drugs and drive, you have consented to the testing for alcohol concentration or controlled dangerous substance or drug in your body. You can refuse testing unless you are involved in a car crash resulting life-threatening injury or death to another person.

Suspending your Driving Privilege or Maryland Driver's License, if the driver refuses to the test or if you perform the testing and your alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more at the time of testing, then your Maryland driver license shall be taken by the police officer. The driver will receive an Order of Suspension and may have a temporary license that is valid for 45 days.

In this case, the driver refused to sign the Advice of Rights form. The Driver refused to take a test measuring the alcohol concentration level in his body. The police officer witnessed that the driver's car was smashed at the front end and the driver had a large cut on his face. The driver was not able to move, but he was conscious. The Maryland Court of Appeals held that the police officer does not have to specify which test that a suspected drunk driver has to take.

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