DUI Suspended License

When you are arrested for drunk driving the state laws force you to fight two separate battles. One of the battles is in court where you and your lawyer will fight tooth and nail to try to have your criminal charges reduced or dismissed, or to secure a not guilty verdict.  The other battle may have less of an impact on your long term future, but the immediate impacts can be just as debilitating and stressful.  This is the battle that must be fought with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Association (MVA) to prevent your license from being suspended.  Fighting the prosecuting lawyers in court, and fighting the MVA are two separate challenges that require the experience and skill of an experience criminal defense lawyer. There are multiple ways that the MVA can legally suspend your driving privileges, but there are also ways that criminal lawyer can fight for you to be able to maintain your ability to legally drive.

Each time a police officer makes a traffic stop in Maryland and suspects that the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drunk driving, the officer may request that you perform field sobriety exercises and a preliminary breathalyzer test.  If you choose to do these tests, or if you refuse and the officer still suspects that you may be under the influence of alcohol the officer may request an additional chemical test for drugs or alcohol.  Under state law, each licensed driver automatically gives implied consent to any lawful chemical testing for intoxication.  If you look on the back of your drivers license, the top two sentences state the implied consent law right there for you to read.  As unfair as it may seem, driving is not a right, but a privilege that comes with caveats.  The implied consent law is one of these caveats.

The state implied consent law allows the MVA to administratively suspend a persons driving privileges if he or she refuses to submit to lawful chemical testing for intoxication after a DUI arrest.  The license suspension occurs automatically upon refusal to submit to testing (either blood, breath or urine testing) or upon testing over the legal alcohol limit.  Upon refusal or failure of a chemical alcohol test the police officer will actually confiscate your drivers license and issue a temporary license so that you may request an administrative review hearing.  Unlike in the criminal courts, in an administrative license suspension you are presumed guilty and must prove that you are innocent.  You are not entitled to a hearing before the officer confiscates your license, and you are not entitled to a jury before your peers.

If you refuse a lawful alcohol test such as a breathalyzer test, your license will be suspended administratively by the MVA for 270 days.  For a second and third refusal to submit to a DUI chemical test for drugs or alcohol your license will be suspended for 2 years by the MVA.  If you submit to a lawful DUI alcohol test and your blood alcohol content is between .08 and .14, your license will be suspended by the MVA for 180 days.  If you take the breathalyzer test and it comes up with a blood alcohol level of over .14 then your license will be suspended by the MVA for 180 days for a first offense, and 270 days for a second or subsequent offense.  Driving in Maryland is an essential part of most people's livelihood, and the stakes are extremely high when dealing with DUI suspended license cases.  If your license has been suspended by the MVA for refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test, or if you have taken a chemical alcohol test and failed, contact a suspended license attorney immediately for a free consultation.  The Herbst Firm will aggressively fight the MVA to keep your driving privileges by setting up administrative review hearings, and challenging all aspects of the alcohol testing procedures.
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