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Chemical Testing in Maryland

Chemical testing in Maryland involves blood alcohol tests  used in investigating DUI/DWI offenses. They are conducted either via a breath test or a blood test. Blood alcohol tests must be administered according to Maryland law in order to stand up in court and be used against a defendant.

A breath test must be given by a qualified person, using specific equipment, at the direction of the arresting officer. (10-304) In Maryland, a “qualified person” is one who has received training in the use of the equipment used to administer the breath test. This includes certain police officers and police employees as well as others authorized by certain state agency’s to administer the test. The officer who arrested the driver may not administer the breath test.

Blood tests must be administered by a qualified medical person using specific equipment, upon the request of an officer. A qualified medical person is only those people who have been legally permitted to draw blood from people. The actual blood test itself must be conducted by a qualified individual using equipment and a laboratory approved by the state.

A person may have a doctor of his or her choice administer the test in addition to the one being administered at the request of the police officer. If a test is not requested by an officer, the person may ask for a test to be administered. An officer will then request that either a breath or blood test be conducted.

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