Driving is a necessity for many people in Maryland. It’s how they get to work, how they make it to medical appointments and go grocery shopping, among many other tasks. Getting your driver’s license is a rite of passage and, once you have it, it’s hard to imagine life without it.
However, it is possible to lose the privilege of driving. For example, if a motorist is pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, that driver may be asked to submit to a breath test. If the motorist does so and the breath test shows a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, the motorist’s driver’s license will be confiscated. The motorist will be given a temporary paper license and will also be given an Order of Suspension containing information about how to request a hearing with the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings, along with a form for doing so. The motorist has 30 days to request an administrative hearing, but if the motorist wishes to keep driving until their hearing date, that person has within 10 days following the date of the Order of Suspension to request a hearing.
At the hearing, motorists have the opportunity to show cause as to why they should be allowed to retain their driver’s license. If a motorist fails to attend the hearing or if a judgment is rendered against the motorist, that person’s driver’s license will be suspended. The length of the suspension depends on what the motorist’s BAC was and whether it was a first offense or second or subsequent offense.
For example, if the motorist’s BAC was between 0.08 and 0.14 and it is a first DUI, the driver’s license will be suspended for 180 days. However, if it is the motorist’s second or subsequent offense involving a fatality, the motorist’s driver’s license will be suspended for one year. If the motorist’s BAC is at or above 0.15 and it is ha first offense involving a fatality, the motorist’s driver’s license will be suspended for one year.