MVA Hearings in Maryland DUI Cases

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MVA.jpgIf a person accused of drinking and driving in Maryland refused the breath or blood alcohol test or the test resulted in an alcohol level of .08 or more, his or her license is subject to automatic suspension. To prevent automatic suspension of a license, a person charged with DUI in Maryland must request a hearing with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) within 10 days of arrest. Maryland police will confiscate a Maryland license from a driver upon arrest for a drunk driving charge and issue a temporary license to drive. The temporary license is valid for 45 days, starting from the day of arrest. On the 46th day, the license automatically expires. Attached to the temporary license is a form which looks like a copy of the temporary license. The copy is a form to request an administrative hearing. It must be completed and mailed or deliver the hearing request form to the Office of Administrative Hearings, 11101 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley, MD 21031-1301. A request for an MVA hearing requires a $125 filing fee which must be submitted with the request.

Everyone is entitled to an MVA hearing. The MVA hearing is an administrative legal proceeding allowing the accused to present his or her side of the story before any decisions are made regarding driving privileges. When evaluating a DUI arrest in Maryland, the Administrative Law Judge will look at the following issues:

1. Whether the police officer who stops or detains a person had reasonable grounds to believe the person was driving or attempting to drive while under the influence of alcohol, while impaired by alcohol, while so far impaired by any drug, any combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol that the person could not drive a vehicle safely, while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance, in violation of an alcohol restriction?

2. Whether there was evidence of the use by the person of alcohol, any drug, any combination of drugs, a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol, or a controlled dangerous substance?

3. Whether the police officer requested a test after the person was fully advised, as required, of the administrative sanctions that shall be imposed?

4. Whether the person refused to take the test?

5. Whether the person drove or attempted to drive a motor vehicle while having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more at the time of testing?

6. Whether the person drove or attempted to drive a motor vehicle while having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more at the time of testing?

7. If the hearing involves disqualification of a commercial driver's license, whether the person was operating a commercial motor vehicle or held a commercial driver's license?

If, after examining the evidence and evaluating the issues presented, the Administrative Law Judge finds that the State established that the accused was in fact driving under the influence of alcohol and was fully advised, then the ALJ may revoke the license. If the license is revoked, then a modification of suspension can be requested for work, school and medical necessities. Ignition interlock can also be requested at a hearing for those who are found to be driving with a BAC over .15 or who refused the test. The decision of the ALJ can be appealed to the Circuit Court for Maryland.

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