refusing a breath test

What Are the Consequences of Refusing a Breath Test in Maryland?

Winter is a dangerous time to drive due to road conditions, but it is even more dangerous due to the increase in drunk drivers. New Year’s Eve is one of the top holidays for DUI arrests and Maryland police typically plan numerous initiatives to find intoxicated drivers before they can harm themselves or someone else. One such method is traffic stops. If you are pulled over or pulled aside during a checkpoint, what are the consequences of refusing a breath test?

You’ll Face Some Consequences Immediately

Maryland has serious consequences for refusing a breath test. If you refuse a preliminary breath test, which is typically the test performed on the roadside, you cannot have your license suspended or have that used against you in court. However, if you also refuse to take a breath test when brought to the police station, you will start to face consequences.

First, the police officer will take your driver’s license if you are a Maryland driver and provide you with a temporary paper license that lasts for 45 days. The temporary license will expire on the 46th day.  They will also initiate a case with the MVA. You will be provided with an Order of Suspension.  The Order is the result of you refusing a breath test.  You will also receive an Advice of Rights Form which explains the administrative process of losing your Maryland driving privileges any other penalties that you might face.

What Happens Next?

You can request a hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) to contest the Motor Vehicle Administration’s notice of suspension.  You have 30 days to request a hearing, or you will lose your ability to request a hearing and be subject to having your license suspended on the 46th day.  It is recommended that you request an administrative hearing within 10 days of the date given on the Order of Suspension to avoid the possibility of having your license suspended prior to your hearing.  Requesting a hearing within 10 days will guarantee that your driving privileges will not be suspended prior to your hearing.  You also have the option to forego a hearing and elect to install an ignition interlock on your vehicle.

Working with an experienced DUI attorney is important, as having a DUI charge on your record can lead to serious personal, professional, and driving consequences. If you do nothing, your license will automatically be suspended on the 46th day after the date on the Order of Suspension. If this is your first time refusing a breath test, your license will be suspended for 270 days. For second or subsequent offenses, you will have a two-year suspension.

What Happens if You Have a CDL?

If you have a CDL, you will be put into a tough situation if you refuse a breath test. If you are stopped, you can have your CDL suspended for a year or forever if you are refusing a test a second time. This can prevent you from working, so many CDL drivers choose to take a breath test when offered.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help With Your DUI Case

If you have been arrested at a DUI checkpoint in Maryland or for a DUI on a bike, you need the right legal assistance. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.