When your arrest for drunk driving leads to the confiscation of your Maryland driver’s license, you have, at most, three options. Only one will preserve your right to fight the suspension.
One option is to do nothing. You will receive the suspension as the law states.
Another is to participate in the Ignition Interlock System for one year.
The third option is to challenge the suspension by requesting a hearing. You may still end up with a suspension and you may still be required to install the Ignition Interlock on your vehicle.
But only a hearing can lead to either a modified suspension or a victory that prevents a suspension of your license.
It might seem that forcing a person to submit to a breath test violates the Fifth Amendment. It might seem that a breath test is a governmental intrusion on a person’s body. According to the United States Supreme Court, this type of governmental action is acceptable.
Benefits of a Hearing
Under Maryland law, when you get a Maryland driver’s license, you automatically agree to submit to a breath test if you are suspected of drunk driving. If you refuse to submit, then you are retracting your permission, and the police officer is required to confiscate your license and assist the MVA in suspending your driver’s license.
While Maryland law imposes automatic penalties based on the result of the officer’s demand that a suspect submit to a test, there is no added penalty for challenging the suspension. In fact, if you fail to attend the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge’s recourse is to impose the same penalty that you would have if you never requested the hearing.
By not requesting a hearing, you are forfeiting your chance to win.