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Admission of Evidence of DUI in Maryland

Maryland Rule 5-401 makes irrelevant evidence inadmissible in a DUI/DWI case. Evidence that the defendant is an alcoholic or has had prior convictions is not admissible at trial. Evidence concerning the driver’s character is not admissible by the State unless the defendant introduces it at trial. The State may not use evidence of a defendant’s other crimes or acts in order to prove the character of the defendant and that he thus has committed this crime or acted this way before. (Maryland Rule 5-404).

A copy of the report of the results of a breath or blood test used to determine driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is admissible as evidence if signed by the technician who performed the test. Similarly, a test showing the presence of a drug or controlled substance is also admissible. (§ 10-306).

Evidence regarding a driver’s refusal to submit to take a breath or blood test is admissible only if it is material and relevant to a matter other than guilt or innocence. Krauss v. State, 587 A.2d 1102 (1991).  Testimony of a defendant’s psychiatric expert witness concerning her pre-arrest behavior was inadmissible and testimony concerning her post-arrest behavior was erroneous. White v. State, 790 A.2d 754 (2002).

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