If you have been arrested in the state of Maryland for drunk or impaired driving, it is in your best interest to schedule a consultation with a lawyer IMMEDIATELY. It is also imperative that WITHIN 10 DAYS OF ARREST, you request a hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings, located in Hunt Valley, Maryland.
Did You Blow Over the Legal Limit or Not at All?
If the officer performed a breath or blood test at scene or police station and determined a result of .08 or higher (the legal limit), or if you rightfully refused the test, then chances are he or she confiscated your driver’s license and issued a 45 day temporary driver’s license. After 45 days, your driving privileges may be suspended pending a hearing. This temporary driver’s license is not a hard copy like your original, but rather a white piece of paper that is attached to an almost identical white piece of paper. Keep the paper that serves as your temporary license on your person at all times.
The paper attached to your temporary license paper is the hearing request copy and needs to be mailed to the Office of Administrative Hearings along with a check for the required fee indicated on the form, made payable to the Maryland State Treasurer. Send this as soon as possible. If the hearing is scheduled more than 45 days after arrest, the applicable license suspension may begin to take effect (or if the hearing request is postmarked more than 10 days after arrest). If the hearing request is postmarked more than 30 days following the arrest, it is likely you won’t be able to get a hearing.
The hearings are only held before administrative law judges in Hunt Valley, Maryland or at MVA branch offices.
The License Suspension
If you consented to the breath or blood test and the result was higher than .08 and this is your first offense, you are facing a 45 day license suspension. For a second or subsequent offense, you are facing 90 days. If you rightfully refused the test and are a first time offender, the suspension is 120 days. For second or subsequent offenders who refused the test, the suspension is one year.
Can I Avoid License Suspension?
In the event that you truly cannot afford to lose your driving privileges for employment or personal reasons, you have the option to enroll in the Ignition Interlock Program through the MVA in lieu of suspension. Upon enrollment, you must consent to installing an interlock device in your vehicle for at least one year. In order to operate your vehicle, it is required that you blow into the device and render a result under .02 (note: be very cautious when using mouthwash prior to blowing). You must take your vehicle to the service center that installed it every 30 days and pay for a reading of the device that will be sent to the MVA. If the data finds that you have blown into the device and failed, you will receive a letter from the MVA lengthening your term in the program by one month per failure (three failures allowed; though you will not be able to start your vehicle until you blow and pass).
If you fail to make your scheduled appointments, you may be locked out of your vehicle and forced to tow it to your designated service center. This is the best option if you want to avoid suspension entirely and legally keep your driving privileges (while likely being on probation).
MIKE THE LAWYER HELPS GOOD PEOPLE THROUGH BAD TIMES
Hiring a lawyer should be the first thing you do when encountering any legal matter, not a last resort. Whether you’re thinking about separation or divorce or have been charged with a crime, been injured in an accident, or your civil rights have been violated, you need to first know your rights and your options. Consulting a lawyer first can actually save you both time and money in the long run.