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General information on what to do in a DUI traffic stop


A traffic stop by Maryland police, especially after a motorist was drinking, may have long-term consequences. Although the best way to avoid a DUI conviction is not to drive after drinking alcohol, there are also other general recommendations regarding what a driver should and shouldn't do if they are pulled over. This blog post will provide a few of these general recommendations. For more specific legal advice, an attorney should be consulted.

Documents like registration and insurance cards should be kept in a readily-accessible place so drivers do not have to hunt through the car or have trouble locating them. When the flashing lights are seen, a driver should find a safe place to pull over, turn on the dome light and place their hands on the steering wheel where the police can see them. If possible, roll down the window and vent the passenger compartment of any odors before stopping.

A driver should be courteous but make no admissions which may be used against the driver in court. Avoid the common mistakes of a nervous person who becomes overly friendly and talkative to relieve anxiety.

Police may ask a driver to get out of their car, which is permissible. A driver may ask a police officer to stop placing a flashlight in their face.

Maryland has an implied consent law. A blood or breath test refusal at the police station may lead to a license suspension for 120 days for the first refusal and an automatic one year suspension for the second suspension.

As soon as possible, a person accused of drunk driving should consult with an attorney. A lawyer may be able to help suppress any illegally seized evidence or unlawful confession.

Source: National Motorists Association, "How to protect your rights during a DUI traffic stop," accessed on April 29, 2017

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