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Maryland DUI Law: What is Implied Consent?

If you have a Maryland driver’s license, then you’ve given your implied consent. So what is implied consent? Basically, the fact that you have a license means that you agree to comply with Maryland DUI law, which holds that if you are lawfully stopped by a law enforcement officer, you consent to chemical testing to determine your BAC level. Learn more about this in our blog.


Implied consent means your license will be suspended for refusing chemical BAC testing.

Maryland DUI Law: What is Implied Consent?


What is implied consent?

Driving is considered to be a privilege, not a right. This means that the state can take away your privilege to drive if you don’t follow the law. The implied consent law, as stated above, holds that if you have a license, you agree to chemical testing if you’re lawfully stopped and the officer has probable cause to believe that you have been driving while intoxicated. Note that implied consent applies to both the preliminary field test, and the post-arrest chemical test. By accepting a driver’s license, you’re giving your consent for this to happen.

But can’t I refuse chemical testing?

Yes, you can refuse chemical testing. You can refuse to take a breathalyzer at the scene, and you can refuse to consent to chemical testing at the police station/other facility after you’re arrested. But because you’ve already given your implied consent, this means that the state has the right to take away your driver’s license. This is why if you refuse to consent to post-arrest chemical testing, per Maryland DUI law, the state will automatically suspend your license for 120 days for your first offense, and 1 year for subsequent offenses.

What if I give consent?

If you give consent to chemical testing and it is determined that you have a BAC of .08 or higher, you will be charged with a DUI. In Maryland, the penalties for a first DUI offense are as follows:

  • A license suspension for a minimum of 6 months.
  • Up to 1 year in jail.
  • Up to a $1,000 fine.


Bruce Robinson & Associates is a criminal defense law firm based in Baltimore, MD. If you have been accused of criminal actions and need to seek aggressive counsel, Robinson & Associates is here to help. For more information and to schedule your free consultation, give Robinson & Associates a call at 443-524-7395 or visit us at You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

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