Maryland DUI Ignition Interlock and Restricted Licenses

Maryland takes driving under the influence very seriously and has recently changed laws related to punishments that extend the standard punishment of jail time and/or fine.

If you are facing a DUI charge in Maryland, you may not be aware of all of the penalties you are potentially facing. A Maryland DUI lawyer can explain to you the nuances of Maryland law, and work with you in formulating a strong defense to the charges you face.

Ignition Interlock Devices

Generally, when people think about penalties associated with driving under the influence, they think of jail time and possible fines. While those punishments remain in Maryland – some of which are mandatory – Maryland has also come across ways to help keep roads safer while still allowing people convicted of a DUI or DWI to maintain the ability to get to work or school.

Upon being convicted in Maryland for a DUI or DWI, your driving privileges are immediately at risk of being suspended or revoked. However, Maryland has created a program that can keep you legally on the road but some conditions must be met.

Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration has instituted an Ignition Interlock Program which allows you, if you currently have your driving privileges suspended due to a DUI or DWI, to have your privileges upgraded to “restricted” as long as you participate in the ignition interlock device program. The program also allows you to have your driving privileges upgraded from “revoked” to “suspended” if you participate in the program.

The ignition interlock device requires you to blow into the interlock device, similar to the way you would take a breathalyzer test, before starting your vehicle. If the device finds that your alcohol level exceeds the accepted level set on the device, your vehicle will not start. However, if the device recognizes that you do not have alcohol in your system, your vehicle will start as normal.

If you participate in the ignition interlock device program, you are responsible for all installation and maintenance costs. Further, you are required to have the device inspected every 30 days to make certain that the device is working properly and that tampering with the device did not occur.

You are required to be in the program for as long as you were originally required to have your driving privileges suspended. Thus, you do not receive a reduced sentence for taking part in the interlock device program.

In addition to an interlock device, if you have been convicted for a DUI or DWI, you may face restrictions on your driving privileges that may only allow for driving only to and from school or work.

How a DUI Lawyer can Help

A DUI conviction can be daunting. Such a conviction carries a stigma while imposing penalties that include jail time and extreme out-of-pocket costs. However, more than that, the loss of your driving privileges can seriously impact your career.

While Maryland has instituted the Ignition Interlock program in an attempt to allow you to have some of your driving privileges restored, the program can be costly and inconvenient.

Howard County DUI lawyer Ed Tayter knows the law and can explore the details of your case, looking for weaknesses or inaccuracies that may even lead to your case’s dismissal.