Question: If my license is suspended due to a DUI arrest, can I get any type of restricted or limited driving permit in Maryland?
Answer: The answer is yes, and let me just back up on that question for one second. A relative question of that one is, “If my license is suspended prior to getting a DUI, can I get some type of modified driver’s license?” And the answer to that question of course is NO. If the MVA has already suspended your driver’s license for some other reason and then you get a DUI, you’re not going to be able to go to the MVA hearing and get a modified license because your license is already suspended for some other reason. Now, if you can clear up the other suspension, maybe you would qualify for a restricted license.
So, now, moving into the question itself. Can you get a modified driver’s license? The answer is yes, you can do that. In Maryland, if you blow between a .08 and a .14, they want to suspend your driver’s license for 45 days. And you can request an MVA hearing, which will cost $150 to them, the MVA, and you can ask them to give you a work restricted license, which they are inclined to do. Work restricted means you can drive to and from and during the course of work, which allows you to go to the gas station to get fuel for the car; it also allows you to go to alcohol education programs and medical reasons, if you had a medical emergency or something like that.
These are the reasons the suspension would be modified. And again, the period of time would be 45 days for this type of suspension. If you blew over a .15, unfortunately they do not extend to you a modified driver’s license. There is no work exemption. The only thing you can do there is obtain an interlock for one full year, and that’s all that they will offer you. So it’s either that or you take the suspension period of time, which would be for a first offense, it would be 90 days. Same thing would apply if you refuse to blow. There is no work modification—they are just going to suspense your license for 120 days. Now, I will tell you that the law is going to change on this subject matter.
Maryland has recently passed Noah’s law, which is going to go into effect most likely on October 1, 2016 and there will be changes to this. They will be, they haven’t come out yet, but the rumblings from the legislature are that they will want everybody to get an interlock if they blow between a .08 and a .14. There is discussion that everybody will have an interlock for a 90-day period of time, and if they opt out of the interlock for the 90-day period of time then the suspension period is going to be even longer. So, this law is going to change, but as of today the law is as I have explained it.