In our last post, we began speaking about the difference between criminal penalties and administrative sanctions in Maryland drunken driving cases. Penalties and sanctions in DUI/DWI cases can and should be challenged appropriately in each case. With criminal penalties, the primary means of doing this is to work through the court system and the criminal process to minimize these consequences.
For administrative sanctions—and here we are referring to driver’s license revocation and suspension—one must work through the Motor Vehicle Administration. When one’s driving privileges are revoked or suspended in a drunken driving case, one is able to request a hearing from an administrative law judge.
The timing of a hearing request is important, as one loses the opportunity for a hearing if the deadline is not met. For alcohol-related license suspensions or for refusal to submit to a chemical test in a drunken driving case, a hearing must be requested within 30 days of receiving a suspension. That being said, if a request is made within 10 days, one will not have one’s license suspended prior to the hearing.
The prime issue at a license suspension hearing in drunken driving cases is whether the motorist was stopped and warned properly, whether he or she failed to refuse to take a chemical test, and what evidence there is in support of the officer’s contention that the driver used alcohol or drugs.
In our next post, we’ll look at some of the specific factors the Motor Vehicle Administration considers in deciding whether to suspend a driver’s license after a hearing.
Source: DMV.org, "Suspended License in Maryland," Accessed April 20, 2015.