The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration's penalties for a DUI/DWI alcohol test refusal or a result greater than 0.08 have dramatically increased. The ability to obtain a work license is minimal, and participation in an ignition interlock program is the only option for many. It is essential to understand that administrative sanctions are separate from criminal charges.
If there is a test refusal or a test result of 0.08 or greater, your Maryland license will be confiscated, and you will receive a temporary license that expires in 45 days. An out-of-state license is not taken; however, the privilege to drive in Maryland will be suspended after 45 days. You have thirty days from the incident to request an administrative hearing to contest the proposed penalties or sanctions will be imposed. It is vital that you immediately contact an experienced DUI lawyer to assist you at the administrative hearing.
BREATH TEST REFUSAL
- The penalty for test refusal is 270 days for a 1st offense and 2 years for a 2nd or subsequent offense. A work restricted license is unavailable; however, participation in an ignition interlock program for one year is an option.
TEST RESULT 0.15 OR GREATER
- If the test result is 0.15+, the driver faces a 180-day suspension for a 1st offense and 270 days for a 2nd or subsequent offense. A work restricted license is unavailable. Participation in an ignition interlock program for one year may be an option.
- Out of state-licensed drivers may not participate in the ignition interlock program and cannot obtain a modification of the suspension of their privilege to drive in Maryland.
TEST RESULT 0.08 BUT LESS THAN 0.15
- The penalty for submitting to the test with result of 0.08 or greater but less than .0.15 is a 180 day suspension; obtaining a restricted license for work, alcohol education or health care may be available. Participating in the ignition interlock program for six months is an option.
The issues at administrative hearings are very narrow. The Administrative Law Judge will consider whether there were reasonable grounds to request a breath test and whether the officer advised you of the administrative sanctions.
You may have defenses and may be able to retain your driver's license or privilege to drive for out-of-state licensed drivers. We have extensive experience in administrative law hearings, and you should have an attorney represent you. Time is of the essence, and please get in touch with C. Thomas Brown and Tina Harris to discuss your options.