Forgiving others releases the past, and sets the tone for a better future. When it comes to a DUI in Maryland, that forgiveness generally comes in the form of the state’s “look back” period. That means that if you have more than one drunk driving conviction in court, with each one at least five years apart from the other(s), those convictions outside the five-year window do not count. You are considered a first-time DUI offender in the eyes of the court. Your other DUI convictions are essentially forgiven by the judge, and you will very likely get the least restrictive penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol.
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MDMVA), however, does not offer the same type of forgiveness for multiple DUIs. Since Maryland has an “administrative license revocation” policy that allows the DMV to suspend or take away your license once you have been charged with a DUI, you have no choice but to follow the agency’s lead. That also means you are under MDMVA’s supervision for your ignition interlock requirement, and that you are only “forgiven” by the MDMVA if and when the “points” for your DUI fall off of your record… and that may not even a guarantee to get your license reinstated.
Of course, you could still face both judicial and administrative penalties for multiple DUIs, especially if the circumstances surrounding your charges or convictions indicate you are a danger on the roads. Maryland does offer first-time offenders the chance to jump ahead and install an ignition interlock device and forego the administrative hearing and or license suspension process. However, when you have multiple DUI offenses in just a few years, you are likely to face much more severe consequences, no matter what the “look back” period promises or the “forgiveness” of the MVA for jumping into your ignition interlock program.