Can You Refuse to Take a Field Sobriety or BAC Test in Maryland?

The Potential Consequences of Choosing Not to Be Tested

Can You Refuse to Take a Field Sobriety or BAC Test in Maryland?In Maryland, as in other states, when you have been pulled over by a police officer, you may be asked to submit to either a field sobriety test (to establish probable cause) or a blood alcohol test, to determine whether you are in violation of the law. Can you refuse to take either one of these tests? If so, are there consequences?

Refusing to Take a Field Sobriety Test

Maryland law does not require that you submit to a field sobriety test. You may have valid reasons for not doing so—health issues, weather or your personal safety, for example. Though you won’t face legal sanctions for refusing to take the field sobriety test, your refusal can be construed as suggesting or even creating probable cause. Accordingly, the officer may choose to make an arrest based on your refusal.

Refusing to Take a Breath Test

As with the field sobriety test, you are not legally required in Maryland to take a preliminary breath test. Even if you agree to take the test, it may not be admissible at trial. However, you can expect that, once you are taken to the police station, you will be asked to take another blood alcohol content test. Because Maryland is an “implied consent” state, when you get behind the wheel, you agree to submit to such a test when requested. If you refuse, your driving privileges will automatically be suspended for 9 months (270 days).

Results-Oriented Baltimore Drunk Driving Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has more than 30 years of experience successfully protecting the rights of criminal defendants across the Baltimore metro area and the state of Maryland, including people charged with drunk driving. He has been awarded an AV-rating (the highest rating possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System by fellow members of the Maryland bar for more than 34 years. He has been listed among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland listed by Super Lawyers as well as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine. He has also earned Martindale-Hubbell’s Client Distinction Award, awarded to less than 4% of all attorneys listed in Martindale-Hubbell’s directory.

Over the past three decades, attorney Smith has successfully handled the defense of a wide range of criminal charges, including cases involving prosecution for drinking and driving. He will aggressively protect your constitutional rights and fully investigate your case to determine whether police and prosecutors follow proper procedures when gathering evidence. He’ll carefully interview all potential witnesses, so that he can prepare and present the most compelling arguments in your defense at trial.

Attorney Smith has been listed among the top 100 attorneys in Maryland by the National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization. He holds a 10.0 (Superb) rating as a trial attorney from AVVO, as well as AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

Effective Howard County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact us online by e-mail or call 410-740-0101. for an appointment. We represent criminal defendants in Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.


  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101