DUIs and Implied Consent in Maryland

A major concern facing drivers in the state of Maryland is how many alcohol beverages they can consume and still be able to drive their motor vehicle safely and legally. Some people have difficulty learning what their limit is in terms of alcohol intoxication, so general guidelines about weight and blood alcohol concentration might be helpful in order to drink safely. Given the implied consent laws that are in place in Maryland, it is important to know if you are impaired before getting behind the wheel of a car.

What Qualifies as a Drink?

A 12-ounce can of beer has far less alcohol inside it than 12 ounces of liquor would. These differences in alcohol content and volume need to be taken into consideration when discussing how many drinks can lead to drunkenness. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a standard drink is defined as a half-ounce of alcohol. This means that one 12-ounce beer, one five-ounce glass of wine, or one 1.5-ounce shot of liquor all qualify as one alcoholic beverage.

How Much Alcohol Does it Take to Be Legally Drunk?

There is no easy way to clearly identify what a person would need to drink to be legally impaired. Too many factors can influence a person’s BAC, including height, weight, muscle tone, metabolism, and stomach contents. That being said, there are some good rules of thumb to give you an idea of what amount of alcohol might lead to legal intoxication. A person weighing 100 pounds can generally only drink one serving of alcohol per hour before being at or above the state’s legal limit to drive, which is .08 percent. Someone who weighs 180 pounds, on the other hand, might be able to drink four servings of alcohol in an hour before reaching the legal limit. Someone in the middle, around 140 pounds, can only drink between two and three servings of alcohol in an hour before reaching the legal limit to drive.

What is Implied Consent?

Implied consent laws are currently in place in all 50 states in one form or another. This law says that anyone with a driver’s license has automatically given police permission to perform a chemical test to determine whether alcohol is present in their system, assuming the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person has been driving under the influence.

In Maryland, the implied consent law says that if a person is suspected of driving under the influence and refuses to submit to either a blood, breath, or urine test to determine the presence of drugs or alcohol, he or she will face additional punishments.

What Happens if a Person Refuses to Submit to a Chemical Test?

If a Maryland driver decides not to allow police officers to test them for alcohol or drugs, then the state’s implied consent law will go into effect. The law contains some automatic penalties that are handed down in the event of a driver’s refusal to submit to a test. In Maryland, the law says that a refusal will result in the automatic suspension of a driver’s license for 270 days, assuming the refusal is their first offense. Subsequent violations can result in a year-long license suspension.

Contact a Maryland DUI Lawyer

If you have been accused of drunk driving and you refused to submit to a chemical test, you should seek counsel from an experiences defense attorney. Seth Okin is a skilled criminal defense attorney who is well-qualified to defend you against DUI and drunk driving-related offenses. Contact his Maryland law office today at (410) 782-0742 to schedule a free evaluation and to explore your options for a solid defense.