DUI / DWI Facts & FAQ

Baltimore, MD DUI / DWI Facts & FAQ

DUI / DWI Facts

DUI/DWI The Decision to Take the Test Or Not: The Need To Have Alcohol Education

If you have been charged with a DUI/DWI the often asked question is whether or not to take the breath test which is generally, but not always, offered to the person charged.

  • Refusal of the breath test: If this is your first offense and or you refuse the test, you will likely need to install in your vehicle an ignition interlock device for one year. In Maryland you need to have a chemical test result beyond a legal limit which is .07-.08.
  • If you take the test: If you do decide to proceed with the breath test, there are a number of forms that are presented to the person charged that require signature. There are a number of applicable potential defenses to missing or inaccurate designations on the forms that can be raised at your M.V.A. Hearing under Transportation Article 16-205.1 (F)(7). If your attorney is familiar with these potentially important defenses, that may be located in the documents themselves, that can be quite important to your representation. Mr. Miller will carefully review all of these documents to evaluate potential defenses where applicable.
  • If you refuse the breath test or you take it and are above the legal limit in Maryland of .07-.08, you have an opportunity for an M.V.A. hearing in your jurisdiction in the state. A request for an M.V.A. hearing should be made within 10 days from the date of your arrest. If your request is beyond 10 days and up to 30 days, the opportunity for a hearing is discretionary with the office of administrative hearings.

             If you have taken the breath test and blow .08-.15 you have the opportunity to modify a suspension for 45 days by obtaining a restricted license for 45 days which would allow you to drive to and     from work, to and from treatment, and to and from probation visits. On the back of the DR-15 form which is your temporary paper license, you will find a request form for an M.V.A. hearing in your local jurisdiction. To properly request your M.V.A. hearing it is very important that you respond to the M.V.A. within 10 days of your arrest. There is a 10 day requirement by the M.V.A. to submit your request form for an M.V.A. hearing and a filing fee of $125.00 must be attached. If the M.V.A. request form is not submitted within 10 days, there is a discretionary second opportunity to properly request a hearing between the 11th and 30th day from the day of your arrest. Beyond 30 days you will have lost your right to request a hearing.

            The M.V.A. hearing, otherwise known as an implied consent or administrative per se hearing, is governed by Transportation Article 16-205. 1 (F)(7). There are a number of issues allowed for review at this hearing by statute. At the M.V.A. hearing evidence is ordinarily presented without live testimony (although the M.V.A. or the person charged can subpoena a police officer). The prima facie case for the state is contained in the DR-15 form provided to the person charged with DUI/DWI. At the administrative hearings the state of Maryland is normally not required to present evidence besides the probable cause evidence contained in the DR-15A form which is submitted by the arresting officer, your driving record, the Advice of Rights form, and the hearing request form. My office can assist you at all M.V.A. hearings whether or not you agree to take a breath test or what the result was. If you have decided to take the test and your reading was less than .15 you should request a hearing at M.V.A. because the Administrative Law Judge can modify a 45 day suspension to allow a restricted license for purposes of work, treatment, and probation appointments for a 45 day period. This is a restricted licensed and at the end of the 45 day period you can turn in your restricted license and receive an unrestricted license. Therefore, if your breath test result is between .08 and .15 you should request a hearing.

            If your chemical test (breath test) is .15 or more and this is your first offense there is an automotive 90 day suspension starting on the 46th day after receiving your temporary paper license DR-15A form. The suspension under these circumstances can be modified by installing an interlock system in your vehicle. If this is your 2nd or subsequent offense and your breath test results are above .15 you still would be entitled to obtain an interlock system, but it is discretionary with the administrative law judge. There are a number of interlock providers available for installation and each have varying fees. My office can assist you in providing names and telephone numbers for these various providers.

DUI/DWI Charges:
  • If you are a Maryland resident charged with DUI/DWI and your license was confiscated, you should immediately fill out the administrative hearing request form within 10 days of your arrest. This is especially important if you took a chemical test and the reading is .14 or less. The importance of sending your request form for a hearing within 10 days along with a check for $125.00 cannot be overstated. If you miss the 10 day requirements, you have up to 30 days to make the request with a valid reason – but it is discretionary with the office of administrative hearings to grant you a hearing after 10 days.
  • If you are a Maryland resident it is advisable to obtain a copy of your complete Maryland driving record and a copy of your probation before judgment record. If you are an out of state resident you must get the above information certified and have this available for your case. A Maryland Court will ordinarily not order you probation before judgment without this out of state documentation if you are an out of state resident.

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