Many reasons exist as to why a Maryland resident might fail a field sobriety test after having an accident, the least of which is the fact he or she was just in a crash. Even so, when police believe a driver was impaired at the time, they typically attempt to verify it. However, the fact that an individual fails a field sobriety test is not necessarily sufficient proof of drunk driving.
Recently, the driver of a scooter heading southbound on Route 589 somehow lost control and ended up in a ditch. When Maryland State Police arrived at the scene, the scooter driver apparently said that he did not need any medical attention. As troopers investigated the crash, something made them believe the driver was impaired. An unspecified field sobriety test was administered.
Based upon the fact that the reportedly driver failed the test, he was taken into custody. Authorities requested that the man to take a breath test, but he refused. He was then charged with DUI and another charge related to the accident.
Many states, including Maryland, impose penalties for refusing to take a breath test. Beyond that, without some quantifiable test to prove the man was drunk driving, it could be difficult to prove a DUI charge beyond a reasonable doubt. The observations of the officer or officers on scene could be called into question, particularly since witness testimony is thought to be one of the least reliable forms of evidence. Further, the possibility exists that the field sobriety test was not properly administered or was improperly interpreted. All of the evidence and interactions the accused man had with law enforcement officials will be scrutinized as the accused man works with his defense team to present a persuasive challenge to the prosecution's version of the events.
Source: wboc.com, "Berlin Man Charged with DUI After Scooter Crash", , May 13, 2014