Under current Maryland law, if a driver is arrested for a DUI, he or she will be asked to submit to a breath test for alcohol. If the result is 0.08 or more but less than 0.15, the person faces a driving license or privilege suspension of 180 days. If at a hearing challenging the suspension, the suspension is sustained, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) holding the hearing has discretion to allow the driver to drive to and from or during the course of employment, alcohol education, education, and for medical purposes for the driver or family members. If the driver blows .15 or more, the suspension is also 180 days for a first offense and 270 days for a subsequent offense, but the only option for the ALJ is to allow the driver to drive only with an ignition interlock in the car for one year. Similarly, if the driver refuses to take a test, the penalty on a first offense is 270 days or two years for a subsequent offense, and the ALJ can only allow the driver to drive with an ignition interlock in the car for one year.
Although these suspensions may be challenged at an administrative hearing, if the challenge fails, the ALJ’s options are limited as noted above. However, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration does not allow out of state drivers to participate in the Ignition Interlock System Program. This critically affects drivers who live outside of Maryland but work here. The only option is to challenge the suspension, and appeal any defeats. But if that effort fails, the driver is SOL.
Hopefully the legislature will remedy this situation soon. Stay tuned.