The Law Office of Matthew E. Bennett
A Maryland Law Firm Based in Silver Spring And Serving Surrounding Communities
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Silver Spring Maryland Criminal Defense Legal Blog

Feeling lucky? Then take a field sobriety test

What does luck have to do with field sobriety tests? More than you think. That's because the three tests that make up the Standardized Field Sobriety Test rely on the observations of the officer administering them. As you can imagine, if the officer pulled you over on suspicion of drunk driving, the odds are already against you.

Research shows that several officers trained in administering the SFST come up with different conclusions when observing the same video tape of an individual taking the tests. Some officers said that the individual was impaired while others did not. The fact of the matter is that you could flip a coin to decide whether the officer administering your tests will think you are impaired and arrest you.

I took a Breathalyzer and failed, can I challenge the results?

You were out and about, driving down a road you travel on a daily basis. On your way home, red and blue lights started flashing behind you. You pulled over like you should, interacted with the Maryland police officer and, at his or her request, agreed to take a Breathalyzer test. You must comply, right? Well, complying resulted in a failed test and your arrest. 

There is a lot of concern about Breathalyzer tests. Law enforcement authorities do believe them to be extremely accurate. The truth is, any number of things can result in a false reading and an arrest that should never have happened. If you fail a breath test, this does not mean a conviction on a DUI charge. It may be possible to challenge the results in court. 

A charge of impaired driving can have life-changing consequences

You have just been taken into custody for drinking and driving and you cannot stop worrying about how this incident will affect you in the short term and long term. Will your face appear in the local news, and will you lose your job or have trouble landing another job in the future?

Impaired driving is illegal in every state, including in Maryland, and can lead to serious consequences. Here is a rundown of what Maryland law says about drinking and driving.

The causes and potential dangers of fatigue among drivers

A motor vehicle accident can take place without a moment's notice and under a variety of circumstances, each of which could place your safety at risk. With prevalent causes such as distracted and drunk driving, you may have concern for your health while out driving on Maryland roads.

Unfortunately, these might not be the only dangers you face, and a drowsy driver may exhibit many of the same behaviors as one distracted or impaired. Since there are numerous scenarios in which a driver may become fatigued behind the wheel, a similar form of negligence is more common than you might think.

Five ways to avoid distracted driving

Make no mistake about it—distracted driving is a major hazard on Maryland roadways. While state laws prohibit driving while operating a cell phone without a hands-free device, the truth is that vehicles present several other forms of distraction that the law doesn’t always account for.

In order to keep  Maryland's roads safe, it’s important to do your part to cut down on all avenues of distracted driving. By following a few simple best practices, you can be more attentive while behind the wheel, thereby decreasing your chances of being involved in accident. Here are five helpful tips for avoiding distracted driving:

So, is marijuana legal now in Maryland?

The news that recreational marijuana is now legal in California may lead some people to think getting caught with marijuana in Maryland can’t be so bad.

After all, didn’t Governor O'Malley signed a law decriminalizing the possession of 10 grams or less, in 2014? That action made possessing small amounts into a simple civil infraction, like running a red light.

Drink driving accident injuries by the numbers

Have you been injured or lost a loved one in a crash in which the other driver was drunk or otherwise impaired?

Join the club. Alcohol is a factor in 29 percent of all highway fatalities (2015). An additional 16 percent of deaths involve other drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine. [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Traffic Safety Facts]

Maryland among list of states most dangerous for pedestrians

You walk down the street all the time. You pay attention to your surroundings, but you are also complacent. You have walked down and across the street your entire life. You know how a crosswalk works. You are also familiar with the saying that pedestrians have the right-of-way. When the crosswalk changes from the hand symbol into the walking symbol, you know that is your cue to go. These factors can give you a sense of security. Unfortunately, accidents in crosswalks can happen.

How does this relate locally?

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The Law Office of Matthew E. Bennett
8720 Georgia Avenue
Suite 701
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Phone: 301-960-5347
Fax: 301-589-1585
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Attorney Matthew E. Bennett