About Statutes

This page accesses the Code of Maryland (Statutes) and the Maryland Municipal Charters and Resolutions as compiled and maintained by the Department of Legislative Services.

The Code is arranged by and organized into “Articles” (e.g. Transportation Article), which are further subdivided into “titles”, “subtitles”, “sections”, “subsections”, “paragraphs”, subparagraphs”, etc.

Note that the “official” compilation of the laws (Chapters) enacted at each session of the General Assembly is published by the State as the “Laws of Maryland”, commonly referred to as the “Session Laws”. The Session Laws for each session are compiled chronologically by chapter number and serve as the source law from which the statutes accessed here are derived.

While the “Laws of Maryland” (Session Laws) constitute the official laws of the State, this Code and the annotated versions noted below are accepted as “evidence” of the law in all State courts and by all public offices and officials (See § 10-201 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article). However, in the event of a conflict between the Code and the Session Laws, the Session Laws prevail.

Note: Annotated versions of the Code, published by LexisNexis and West, are available in book and online formats. These Annotated Codes include references to case law, related citations, and explanatory notations.

The Municipal Charters are updated each year by incorporating all charter resolutions received by the Department through May 31 of that year. Individual Municipal Resolutions are published to the General Assembly website as they are received by the Department.

Statute Text

Article - Transportation
(a)   A police officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that an individual is or has been driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or while impaired by alcohol may, without making an arrest and prior to the issuance of a citation, request the individual to submit to a preliminary breath test to be administered by the officer using a device approved by the State Toxicologist.
(b)   The police officer requesting the preliminary breath test shall advise the person to be tested that neither a refusal to take the test nor the taking of the test shall prevent or require a subsequent chemical test pursuant to § 16-205.1 of this subtitle.
(c)   The results of the preliminary breath test shall be used as a guide for the police officer in deciding whether an arrest should be made and may not be used as evidence by the State in any court action. The results of the preliminary breath test may be used as evidence by a defendant in a court action. The taking of or refusal to submit to a preliminary breath test is not admissible in evidence in any court action. Any evidence pertaining to a preliminary breath test may not be used in a civil action.
(d)   Refusal to submit to a preliminary breath test shall not constitute a violation of § 16-205.1 of this subtitle and the taking of a preliminary breath test shall not relieve the individual of the obligation to take the test required under § 16-205.1 of this subtitle if requested to do so by the police officer.