When you are cited for a DUI or DWI in Maryland, you face several different sets of penalties. At court, the judge can impose jail time, fines, probation, and other penalties. Additionally, the Motor Vehicle Administration will try to suspend your driver’s license. These two sets of penalties are independent of each other. What happens at the MVA hearing has no bearing on your case’s outcome in court. What happens at court can, however, have an effect on your driver’s license as well.
In Maryland, all DUI and DWI cases are initially heard in the district court for the county where the offense is alleged to have occurred. Most counties in Maryland require a person charged with DUI or DWI to appear in front of a commissioner, who advises them that they have a right to counsel and may give them a court date. Most counties in Maryland inform people charged with DUI or DWI of their court date through the mail.
If a person blows into a breathalyzer at the police station (not the portable breath test that some officers administer on the side of the road) and the result is .08 or higher, or if the person refuses to blow into the breathalyzer at the police station, then the MVA will attempt to suspend that person’s driver’s license. An arresting officer is required to advise a person of these administrative sanctions before they ask that person to do the breathalyzer test at the police station. The police officer will also confiscate a person’s driver’s license (if they are Maryland licensed) and issue them a temporary license. The driver must submit a hearing request within 10 days of the confiscation of their driver’s license in order to get a temporary permit that lets them drive until their hearing.