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What if you refuse or fail blood alcohol testing in Maryland?

Whether your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) comes up as being over Maryland's legal limit or you refuse to take the test altogether, you'll likely end up with the same result. A police officer will likely take away your Maryland driver's license and submit details surrounding your case to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).

If you fail or don't comply with BAC testing, then the police officer will issue you an Officer's Certification, an Order of Suspension form and Advice of Rights form. The former will serve as your temporary driver's license.

Each will contain specific details about your own case, including whether you submitted to BAC testing and what the consequences may be for not doing so. In terms of the latter, you'll be required to select your choice as to whether to comply with testing or not and then you'll be asked to place your signature on it alongside the police officer's.

Both forms include more information about suspensions and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). The former will instruct drivers to contact the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings during the next 30 days to set a date to argue your case.

As for potential penalties, Maryland law requires a suspension lasting 270 days for your first refusal. For your second or subsequent refusals, you may face a suspension lasting as long as two years.

A failed test with a BAC percentage of .08 or higher will result in a 180-day suspension for your first and subsequent offenses, provided no one dies as a result of your indiscretions.

The length of your suspension increases if someone is killed as a result of your intoxicated driving. If someone dies in a crash where your BAC was later found to be between .08 and .14 percent, then you'll lose your license for 180 days.

A second or subsequent fatal accident with a BAC of between .08 and .14 percent or your first with .15 percent or higher will result in your license being taken away for a year. A second or subsequent fatal crash where you test as having a BAC of .15 percent or higher will likely result in a complete revocation of your license.

In learning more about your case, a Baltimore attorney can advise you of your rights in your own legal matter.

Source: Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration, "Alcohol test failure or refusal," accessed Feb. 07, 2018

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