Maryland is about to hold you fully accountable, legally, for drunk driving. As of October 1, 2016, any DUI conviction will require that you pay court costs, fines and you will have an ignition interlock requirement too. But, before you even make it to court, you also have some consequences from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) that will make it a little more difficult to drive yourself around: an administrative alcohol restriction. In fact, even if your criminal DWI case is dismissed, that administrative restriction can still be a buzz kill in more ways than one.
After a DWI, you will have an administrative alcohol restriction and/or an ignition interlock restriction on your Maryland driver’s license.
An alcohol restriction on your MD license means that you are not allowed to drive if you’ve been drinking any amount of alcohol. Your MVA administrative hearing will look at any prior alcohol or drug-related criminal charges, at the points on your license or a combination of both in order to fully hold you accountable on the administrative side. Considering an ignition interlock device usually prohibits you from a BAC of .02 percent, an administrative alcohol restriction is much more serious and is directly supervised by the MD MVA.
Also, if you have more than one DWI in two years, you’ll have a three-year administrative alcohol restriction through the MVA.
You could also have an ignition interlock restriction on your license that is in addition to the criminal DWI requirement you receive in court. Until Noah’s Law goes into effect in October, not all criminal DWI offenders will have an ignition interlock requirement. However, anyone can still opt for an interlock or have an administrative requirement today, tomorrow and for the foreseeable future.
Administrative penalties help keep repeat offenses down and can be a solution when a drunk driving charge is dropped or set aside. Plus, the sanctions are pretty immediate, giving an offender the ability to take control of their own recovery in many cases, before even heading into court.