If you’re pulled over in Maryland and suspected of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Impaired (DWI), you will be requested by the police officer to perform a series of tests to determine your level of impairment. Typically the police officer will perform a battery of tests on the side of the road, including the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (follow a pen or light with your eyes), Walk and Turn, and One Leg Stand to determine if you are impaired and if he can proceed with the investigation. If the police officer believes that you are impaired, he can arrest you for suspicion of DUI or DWI. Once arrested, you’ll be taken to the police station and requested to submit to a breath or blood test for alcohol or drugs.
Maryland law requires that you submit to a test. If you submit to a test and you blood alcohol concentration is greater than 0.08, then you are subject to Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) penalties. Although required by law, you may refuse to take the test, but you will also face MVA penalties.
If you submit to a test and you alcohol concentration is at least 0.08 but less than 0.15, then your driver’s license will be suspended for 45 days for the first offense and 90 days for a second or subsequent offense. If you submit to a test and your alcohol concentration is 0.15 or more, then your driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days for the first offense and 180 days for a second or subsequent offense.
If you refuse to take the test then your license will be suspended for 120 for the first offense and 1 year for a second or subsequent offense.
If you’re operating a commercial motor vehicle at the time of the arrest then your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) will be suspended for 1 year for the first offense and a lifetime suspension for a second or subsequent offense.
If you fail the test or refuse to take the test then your Maryland driver’s license will be confiscated and you will be issued an order of suspension that will take effect on the 46th day after the arrest.
If your license is suspended, you may be eligible to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program for a period of time.
If you’re facing a DUI or DWI charge, you need to contact an experienced attorney. An attorney can be helpful in advising you and presenting the best possible defense and argument before the Court.