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If you recently got a DUI in Maryland, then you may face immediate administrative sanctions as well as other penalties. In fact, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test or test over the 0.08 BAC limit in Maryland, the arresting officer can immediately confiscate your driver’s license and put you on administrative suspension for 45 days, or longer if you are under 21, as stated by the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration.

Consequences of Getting a DUI in Maryland

According to the MVA, after a first time conviction, your license may be revoked for up to six months, or one year for a second offense. There are higher penalties for drivers under 21 and if there was a minor in the car at the time.

Maryland has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under 21, and certain other drivers may also have an alcohol restricted license. Given the significant financial hardships of not being able to drive for six months, especially if you live further away from the DC suburbs, Maryland also has an ignition interlock program.

Maryland Ignition Interlock Device Laws

You have to sign up for the program right away, within 30 days of receiving an Order of Suspension, and an approved ignition interlock provider must install the interlock.

Some drivers are eligible to opt-in as an alternative to suspension, while in other cases, the judge may order you into the program.

Maryland ignition interlock device laws are similar to those in other states. You will have to check in with the provider every thirty days so the device can be checked. The device will also log how far you are driving, whether the interlock was activated by alcohol consumption, etc. Your license will have a “J” on it to indicate that you can only drive a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock.

The Timeline of Using an Ignition Interlock Device

The length of time you have to participate varies. For repeat offenders, it can be up to three years. You also have to have no program violations, which includes trying to start the vehicle with a BAC of .25% or higher, trying to bypass the device, or driving a vehicle not fitted with an interlock, in the final three months of your “sentence.”

The Cost of an Ignition Interlock Device

You are responsible for all costs associated with the program, which includes the price of:

  • the restricted driver’s license,
  • installation and removal of the ignition interlock device,
  • monitoring, and
  • a new unrestricted license when you are released from the program.

However, these can be a lot lower than the costs of not being able to drive.

The Importance of an Alcohol Restriction

Additionally, your license may be put under an alcohol restriction for three years, meaning that you cannot consume any alcohol at all before driving. You may also be restricted to driving only for essential purposes, such as school. A DUI in MD is also on your record, so the best thing to do is not drink and drive in the first place.

Driving with a Restricted License

After you get the interlock device installed, you will receive sealed paperwork that you can take with you to get your restricted license. You will have to go to a full-service MVA location to do so. You should bring:

  • a photo ID,
  • your vehicle registration, and
  • the court order to your appointment.

If you don’t own the vehicle, you will need their written consent or to take the owner with you. Note that anyone who drives the vehicle will have to blow into the device to test their Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC).

It is legal in Maryland to also have a camera installed, so that you don’t get blamed if a family member is the one who tries to start the interlocked vehicle while drunk, for example. You may need or want to get the interlock installed on all vehicles in the household.

Stay Safe and Get Back on the Road with Draeger Interlock

If you have been convicted of a DUI in MD, then you may be able to avoid a lengthy period of license suspension by getting a Draeger interlock installed. Contact us to schedule your appointment and find out more.

*Links to any third-party websites herein are provided for your reference and convenience only. Dräger did not create nor develop, and does not own, any such third-party websites. Dräger does not endorse nor support the content of, nor any opinions stated in, any such third-party website links. Dräger is not responsible for the content of any third-party website or its accuracy or reliability. Nothing contained in this article or in any such third-party website shall be considered legal advice or be deemed to constitute legal advice. For any legal advice concerning a DUI arrest, charge, conviction or consequences thereof, you should contact an attorney of your choice.

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