Your Driver’s License After a First Offense DUI Charge in Baltimore

If you’re a Maryland license holder facing your first DUI charge, the officer will confiscate your license and you will get a paper license, which is good for 45 days. You then have the right to request a Motor Vehicle Administration hearing, which must be done within 10 days, at which time and depending on your eligibility, you or your Baltimore first offense DUI lawyer can ask for a 45-day restriction on your license to drive to and from work, school or other approved places or fight the suspension in its entirety.

Licensing hearings for the MVA are done through the Office of the Administrative Hearings, and the Motor Vehicle Administration would be the agency seeking to suspend your license. The duration of the suspension is dependent on the result of your breath test, if there was one. If you refused a breath test, your maximum penalty could be a 270-day suspension. If you blew .15 or higher, you’re looking at a 90-day suspension. In either of those cases, you can also be subject to one year of ignition interlock. If your result was below .15, then you can request a 45-day restricted license for first time offenders.

Challenging a License Suspension

You have to have an administrative hearing in order to challenge the suspension of your license. You’re arguing that you should not have your license suspended for an alcohol-related offense because you did not have alcohol in your system. That could be because the officer may have done something improperly or may not have had a reason or evidence to stop you. There may be other reasons to argue the suspension related to statute or law, that was not complied with by the officer, which it why hiring an attorney is essential.

Restricted Licenses

With a restricted license, you’re typically allowed to drive to and from work and/or school. If you have consistent healthcare provider appointments, you’ll be able to drive to and from there as well. What you can’t do however, is drive to the grocery store, to the movies or to go pick up dinner. You really do have to comply strictly with those lines of restriction that the administrative judge imposes on your license. If you fail to do that, then the judge can come back and suspend your license.

If Found Not Guilty

Being found not guilty in court does not mean that you will automatically receive your license back. The administrative function is very different from the judiciary function. The district courts operate very differently from the Motor Vehicle Administration. You can in fact be found not guilty but still have the imposition of some suspension or restriction to your license. The hearings are held at different times. Generally one does not have the same consistency as the other. It’s entirely possible to have a 270-day suspension imposed on your license for a refusal, win at trial in the district court and then still be suspended.