When you are stopped for drunk driving in Maryland, the officer will ask you to take a chemical test for the presence of alcohol. Your response may subject you to the 10 day rule. This rule gives you 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing. The purpose of the hearing is for you to challenge the MVA’s right to suspend you. However, the rules concerning your opportunities for driving privileges depend on multiple factors such as the type of hearing (1. Test Score .08, 2. Test Score .15, 3. Test Refusal), whether you have had previous similar MVA violations and when those prior violations occurred. You also must decide whether you want to select the Ignition Interlock Program or request the hearing. Therefore, the decision to request an MVA hearing should be made promptly and with the assistance of an experienced criminal DUI/DWI defense attorney. You should not simply mail the form in and hope for the best.
With the assistance of your attorney, you will need to decide whether to request an MVA hearing or answer the Ignition Interlock Program. If you do nothing you face a suspension that will go into effect 46 days from your arrest. Generally, you will need to request a hearing within 10 days of your arrest or lose your right to a hearing. In some circumstances, you may be eligible to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program if you waive your MVA hearing AND comply with the Ignition Interlock Program requirements within 30 days of your arrest.
You request the hearing by completing a form that the officer is required to give you. The form is entitled “Officer’s Certification and Order of Suspension.” This is a two page document. Both pages look identical. However, the reverse sides of these pages are different. One of the reverse sides contains the form you must complete. In addition you must enclose a check when you mail in the form. The form tells you where to mail your request for a hearing and your check. If you fail to enclose the check, your request for a hearing will not be honored.
This information begins to make you a true and equal partner in your defense. Now, let’s get to work.