10 Day Hearing Request Rule
When you are stopped for drunk
driving in Maryland, the officer will ask you to take a chemical test
for the presence of alcohol. Your response may subject you to the 10
day rule. This rule gives you 10 days from the date of your arrest to
request a hearing. The purpose of the hearing is for you to challenge
the MVA's right to suspend you. However, the rules concerning your opportunities for driving privileges depend on multiple factors such as the type of hearing (1. Test Score .08, 2. Test Score .15, 3. Test Refusal), whether you have had previous similar MVA violations and when those prior violations occurred. You also must decide whether you want to select the Ignition Interlock Program or request the hearing. Therefore, the decision to request an MVA hearing should be made promptly and with the assistance of an experienced criminal DUI/DWI defense attorney. You should not simply mail the form in and hope for the best.
If this is the first time you've been asked to take the breath test in Maryland, and you now score .08 but less than .15, you face a 45 day suspension.
If you score .15 or more you face a 90 day suspension and you are ineligible for limited driving privileges, although you may be eligible for the Ignition Interlock Program. Repeat offenders face longer suspensions.
If you refuse to take the test
you face a 120 day suspension. Repeat
offenders face longer suspensions.
These suspensions will automatically
go into effect 46 days from your arrest, unless you request a hearing
within 10 days of your arrest. In some circumstances, you may be eligible to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program if you waive your MVA hearing AND comply with the Ignition Interlock Program requirements within 30 days of your arrest.
You request the hearing by completing
a form that the officer is required to give you. The form is entitled
"Officer's Certification and Order of Suspension." This is
a two page document. Both pages look identical. However, the reverse
sides of these pages are different. One of the reverse sides contains
the form you must complete. In addition you must enclose
a check when you mail in the form. The form tells you where to mail
your request for a hearing and your check. If you fail to enclose the
check, your request for a hearing will not be honored.
If it already has been 10 days
since your arrest, you may still have the right to a hearing. Don't
surrender your driving privileges due to lack of information.
This information begins to make
you a true and equal partner in your defense. Now,
let's get to work.