What happens after a Maryland driver refuses to take a breath test?
After refusing a breath test, drivers have a certain period of time to request a hearing and defend why their license should not be suspended.
In Maryland, it is illegal for drivers to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content level at or above 0.08, states the Governors Highway Safety Association. If a law enforcement official pulls a driver over because he or she suspects that the driver is guilty of drunk driving, he or she may request that the driver take a breath test and perform a field sobriety test. According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, the outcome of these tests in addition to other factors determine if additional testing will be required.
During the arrest process
If a driver refuses to take a breath test, his or her driver’s license will be confiscated by the law enforcement official and he or she will be given a temporary license. A driver who does not submit to a breath test will also be given an Advice of Rights form and an Officer’s Certification and Order of Suspension form, states the Maryland MVA.
The Advice of Rights form provides the driver with information about his or her driving privileges and also provides the driver with information about how to request a hearing. In comparison, the Officer’s Certification and Order of Suspension document gives the driver more information about what occurred and indicates whether or not he or she took the breath test when requested to do so.
Requesting a hearing
The Maryland MVA states that there are three different reasons why a driver may want to request a hearing after a DUI arrest. These include the following:
- To prove that his or her driver’s license or driving privileges should not be suspended
- To have the terms of a license suspension altered
- To show that the events surrounding the drunk driving case do not meet certain legal requirements
A driver who is pulled over by a law enforcement official on suspicion of driving a vehicle in an intoxicated state who does not request a hearing within 10 days of the traffic stop and refused to take a breath test faces certain penalties. For example, a driver who refuses a breath test for the first time and does not request a hearing will automatically have his or her driving privileges suspended for 120 days. A one-year suspension period applies to a driver who refused to take a breath test during his or her second drunk driving arrest or for any other subsequent offenses and did not request a hearing.
Managing all of the events that occur after a drunk driving arrest in Maryland and preparing for a hearing can be intimidating and confusing. If you refused to take a breath test during a drunk driving arrest, speak with an attorney to find out what you can do to protect your legal rights at this time.