There seems to be a lot of confusion from clients regarding their license suspension when charged with driving under the influence or driving while impaired. Adding to the confusion, is what happens to the out of state drivers licensed in another State. Here's a brief overview.
TEST REFUSAL-a Maryland licensed driver that refuses the Breathalyzer test will be suspended for 120 days (for a first test refusal) and cannot receive a restricted license for work purposes. The only option is to participate in the ignition interlock program for one year. A Driver licensed in another state will lose the privilege to drive in Maryland for 120 days. The ignition interlock program is not available for out of state license drivers.
TEST RESULT BETWEEN .08 and .14 A Maryland license driver Will be suspended for 45 days (first offense) but can obtain a restricted license for work, alcohol education program and health reasons. An out-of-state driver will lose the privilege to drive in this state for 45 days I can also receive a restricted privilege for work etc.
TEST RESULT OVER .15- A Maryland licensed driver will be suspended for 90 days (first offense) and cannot obtain a restricted license. The only option is the same as for a test refusal; i.e., participation in the ignition interlock program for one year. An out-of-state licensed driver cannot participate in the ignition interlock program and therefore that driver's privilege to drive in Maryland is suspended for 90 days.
Things to keep in mind:
1. The suspension for second or subsequent offenders is more lengthy than set forth above.
2. The test referred to is not a preliminary breath test offered by a police officer at the scene but is a test that would be conducted at a police station.
3. You have a right to have a hearing prior to the beginning of any suspension but time is of the essence and you should immediately contact an attorney to discuss your options-you have to request an administrative hearing within 10 days in order to ensure that you can continue to drive until the data of the administrative hearing and no later than 30 days.
4. You may be able to successfully contest the proposed suspension at an administrative hearing but the issues are very limited and you need to discuss your options with an experienced DUI attorney.
5. Always tell the police officer that you want to speak to an attorney prior to making the decision as to whether to take the test-even if you're unsuccessful in reaching an attorney this may give you additional ammunition to argue at an administrative hearing. But remember, there is a two hour time limit for the test to be performed from the time of apprehension so ask speak to an attorney as soon as you are asked to take the Breathalyzer test.
6. There is pending legislation that will require more participation in the ignition interlock program but if enacted will not be effective until late 2016.
This is just a brief overview attempting to clear up misconceptions that I encounter on a daily basis from my clients. If you were stopped and charged with an alcohol related offense, please contact C Thomas Brown, an experienced DUI lawyer in Elkton, Cecil County, Maryland to discuss your options.