After an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) there are two different proceedings you will face. One is a criminal proceeding in a district court, and the other is an administrative hearing before the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). During the criminal trial, a judge or jury will decide whether you are guilty of DUI/DWI. At the administrative hearing, your ability to drive will be affected.
Once you are arrested for DUI, you are given a temporary Maryland driver’s license, and your license is confiscated. This temporary license is only valid for 45 days. You have 10 days to request an administrative hearing and attempt to keep your license. If you fail to request this hearing in a timely manner, your license will be suspended.
The MVA hearing will be held in front of a judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). These hearings are held across the state in front of an administrative law judge. The judge does not have much discretion in these cases, and the rules and regulations for breath testing and DUI procedure are rigid. The judge will rely on paperwork submitted by the MVA and the arresting police department. You will then be allowed to give testimony or present the testimony of other witnesses, on your own behalf. After testimony is concluded your attorney will make an argument for why your license shouldn’t be suspended. The judge will then make a determination.
If the judge decides to suspend your license, your attorney will usually ask for a modified or restricted license. Typically, in Maryland, people whose Breathalyzer results are under .15% will be eligible for a restricted license. You may be eligible for a modified drivers license in order to:
- driving to and from work or as part of your work
- to drive to and from post-secondary education
- driving to and from medical appointments for yourself or a loved one
- to drive to and from alcohol treatment
If a driver blows higher than .15%, or refuses to take a Breathalyzer, then the only modified license available may be one that requires an ignition interlock device.
If your breath alcohol content is .08% to .14% the current penalties are
- 1st offense-180 day suspension
- 1st offense involving a fatality-180 day suspension
- 2nd or subsequent offense – 180 day suspension
- 2nd or subsequent offense involving a fatality—1 year suspension
If your breath alcohol content is .15% or over the current penalties are
- 1st offense—180 day suspension
- 1st offense involving a fatality-1 year suspension
- 2nd or subsequent offense—180 day suspension
- 2nd or subsequent offense with a fatality—1 year revocation
Get the help you need
These administrative hearings are notoriously difficult to win, so it is best to have an attorney when you’ve been arrested for a DUI/DWI. Having a highly skilled DUI attorney by your side is critical to success in your case. Contact the lawyers at Alpert Schreyer, LLC or call us at 866-444-6363 for a free consultation.