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Our office provides representation for clients facing suspensions or revocations of their license or privilege to drive by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). These suspensions or revocations can be generated by provisional license holders who receive moving violations, drivers under the age of 21 who receive alcohol violations, convictions for drunk driving (both convictions in the State of Maryland and out of state convictions), violations of license restrictions, proposed actions by the Medical Advisory Board (MAB), and point accumulations.
Generally speaking, the MVA will seek to suspend your Maryland license or privilege to drive if you accumulate eight (8) points or more during any two year period. The MVA will seek to revoke your Maryland license or privilege to drive if you accumulate twelve (12) points or more during any two year period. The alternatives to suspension or revocation that are available depend greatly on the driver's driving history and the nature of the offense which led to the point accumulation.
By law the MVA must notify the licensee of their intent to suspend or revoke the licensee's driver's license or privilege. These notices typically require immediate action. Failure to promptly respond to a notice of suspension or revocation may possibly result in an inability to challenge the proposed suspension or revocation or to seek a lesser consequence.
Drivers arrested for impaired driving in Maryland face both immediate Administrative sanctions and additional criminal penalties and license sanctions if the driver is convicted of an impaired driving offense.
New! Important changes to Maryland's drunk driving laws take effect on October 1, 2016, that include increased penalties and expansion of the Ignition Interlock Program. Click here for more information about the Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016 (Noah’s Law).
ADMINISTRATIVE PER SE: ALCOHOL TEST FAILURES AND REFUSALS
If you are stopped by a police officer and are suspected to be under the influence, the law enforcement officer may request that you to submit to a field sobriety test or portable breath test. If you are arrested for impaired driving, the officer will advise you of your rights and provide you with an Advice of Rights form (DR-15) before requesting that you submit to a chemical blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test.
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the amount of alcohol present in a 100 milliliter (mL) volume of blood. For example 80 mg is 0.08 grams, 0.08 grams of alcohol in 100 mLs is written as 0.08%. In other words, 80 mg% is equal to 0.08% which is equal to 80 mg/dL (deciliter; 100 mLs). This value can also be described as 0.08 BAC.
If you test above the legal limit for alcohol (0.08 BAC), or refuse an officer’s request to submit to a chemical test for alcohol or drug use, you will be issued an Order of Suspension (form #DR-015A) along with your traffic citation(s).
The police officer will confiscate your Maryland driver's license and may issue you a 45-day temporary paper license.
For more information visit, see Alcohol Test Failure or Refusal.
If you were operating a commercial vehicle or are a commercial driver license holder at the time of your stop, you are also subject to the disqualification of your commercial driving status.
For more information about penalties for commercial license drivers and operators of commercial vehicles, also see the Commercial Driver’s License Manual.
VIOLATIONS OF LICENSE RESTRICTION
An alcohol restriction on your license prohibits you from operating a vehicle with any level of alcohol in your blood. If you are under the age of 21, your license automatically carries “Under 21 Alcohol Restriction.” If you have a prior impaired driving offense, your license may carry an alcohol restriction on it that was placed there by the Administration or the Courts. An alcohol restriction on your license also mandates that you submit to a chemical test when an officer suspects that you may be driving under the influence. If you refuse the test, or test positive for any level of alcohol, then you will be subject to additional sanctions.
For more information, visit Violations of Restrictions
Ignition Interlock is a device that is installed in vehicles that prevents drivers from operating the vehicle while impaired by alcohol. The driver must blow into the device and if his or her breath alcohol level exceeds the accepted level set on the device, the vehicle will not start. When installed, interlocks are associated with about a 70% reduction in arrest rates for impaired driving.
The 2011 Drunk Driving Reduction Act, implemented on October 1, 2011 expanded Maryland's Ignition Interlock program by requiring more drivers to participate. Participants in this program must have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in their vehicle, obtain an ignition interlock-restricted license and must successfully complete their assigned period of participation before they may regain full licensure.
For more information, visit Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program.
If you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and you have had a prior driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled dangerous substance violation within five years of the date of the violation, your license will be suspended for one year followed by participation in the Ignition Interlock Program for one year. You may, if eligible opt into the Program for one year in lieu of your suspension.
For more information, visit Repeat Offender Violations