MVA Hearings

Nearly 40 Years' Collective Legal Experience

If you have been stopped for driving under the influence or driving while impaired and took a breath test with a result of 0.08 or higher or you refused to take a breath test, your license may be suspended unless you act quickly.

You should contact an experienced attorney within 10 days of your stop, or our chance to keep your license will be lost. Both Attorney Anthenelli and Attorney Phoebus at Anthenelli, Phoebus & Hickman, LLC have been representing drivers charged with DUI/DWI in both court and in MVA hearings. Additionally, we have a serious commitment to protecting the rights of clients throughout the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland.

If Your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Was a 0.08 or Higher, But Under 0.15

If you took the test and blew over a 0.08, but under a 0.15, you are facing a 45-day license suspension for your first such test result. If it is your second or subsequent test result of over a 0.08, your license will be suspended for 90 days. Because you took the test, you are eligible for a restricted license that permits you to drive for work, for school, and to attend alcohol classes if you haven't been issued such a license within the past 5 years. You must request a hearing to get a work restricted license.

If Your BAC Was Over 0.15

As of January 1, 2007, increased penalties are assessed for test results of 0.15 or more. If your test result was this high, you are ineligible for a work restricted license, but you may be eligible to enroll in the ignition interlock program. A first test result of 0.15 or higher results in a 90-day suspension of your driver's license. For a second test result of 0.15 or more the suspension is for 180 days. If you opt for the ignition interlock program, however, you must enroll for one year.

If You Refused to Take a Breath Test

If you refused to take the test, your license can be suspended for 120 days for a first refusal and for 1 year for a subsequent refusal. You are not eligible for a work restricted license, but you may be eligible to enroll in the ignition interlock program for at least one year. Get the defense you need from a Salisbury DUI attorney at our firm if you refused to take a breath test at the time of your arrest. There are multiple strategies we can utilize to help you obtain a positive end result.

Ignition Interlock Program

The ignition interlock program allows drivers to keep their driver's license if they install the ignition interlock device on their vehicle for at least one year. Instead of requesting a hearing, any driver can voluntarily enroll in the ignition interlock program for one year by having the device installed on their vehicle and sending proof of the installation and their temporary license to the MVA within 30 days of the stop. Typically, drivers who are ineligible for a work-restricted license will choose this option if they need to drive.

The ignition interlock device prevents your car from operating unless you pass a breath test before you start it and randomly while you are driving. You do not need to request a hearing to enroll in the ignition interlock program, but if you voluntarily enroll in the program, the only vehicles you will be permitted to drive are vehicles equipped with the device. If you have a company car, you should request a hearing to ask the administrative law judge to modify the suspension to require you to have the device only installed on your personal vehicle. Enrolling in the program requires you to contact one of five approved ignition interlock providers and pay their fees.

Underage Drivers

Even if you took the test, if you are a Maryland driver under 21 years of age and any alcohol (0.02 or higher) is detected, you will receive notice from the MVA that they propose to suspend your license for one year for violating the under-21 alcohol restriction on your license. Instead of receiving notice from the police officer, you will receive this notice in the mail. Instead of serving the suspension, you will have the ability to enroll in the Ignition Interlock program, instead.

When does your license suspension begin if arrested for a DUI?

Many drivers think their license is immediately suspended after a DUI stop. It is not. At the time of your stop, most drivers are given a temporary license that is good for 45 days from the date of the stop or until it is surrendered to enroll in the ignition interlock program. Even if you don't drive from the date of the stop, you will still have to serve the appropriate suspension beginning on the 46th day after your stop unless you turn the temporary license into the MVA to start the clock running.

Driving while suspended is a serious criminal offense that carries up to 1 year in jail, a $1,000 fine, and 12 points against your license. If you are unsure whether your license is suspended, call the MVA toll free at (800) 950-1682 and ask about the status of your license.

Out-of-State Drivers

If you have an out of state license, your refusal to take a breath test or your breath test result of 0.08 or above will not affect your license in your home state. Maryland does not report test failures or refusals to other states. Even though you can continue to drive in 49 other states, your privilege to drive in Maryland is subject to suspension for the same time periods as for a Maryland driver.

MVA hearings following DUI/DWI convictions and point system suspensions

If you have been convicted of a DUI/DWI or other major traffic offenses, the MVA may propose to suspend or revoke your driver's license. If you have received minor traffic citations that result in the accumulation of 5 points against your license, you will receive notice of a point system conference. Look at all deadlines on these notices carefully. For each you will have the option to request a hearing and, in the case of suspensions or revocations, you will have certain pre-set options for participating in the ignition interlock program or driver improvement programs to get your license back.

Medical Advisory Board Hearings

In certain serious cases, such as cases involving an extremely high BAC, drivers with many convictions, or drivers with certain medical conditions, your license can be suspended on an emergency basis upon the recommendation of a doctor, a judge, or a police officer if the MVA believes that your continued operation of a motor vehicle could put you or others in danger.

These are known as MAB (Medical Advisory Board) suspensions and are extremely serious. Keeping your license following such an emergency suspension requires the coordinated effort of your health care provider and an experienced lawyer. MAB suspensions are rare, but we have helped many drivers keep their license after receiving notice of an MAB suspension.

If you need advice about MVA Hearings, please call our Salisbury DUI defense lawyers at (410) 657-5775 or contact us online to schedule an appointment about your case.

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